NORTH COUNTY — Two adults, a child, and their dog were rescued from a large rock 50 yards offshore of Washaway Beach on Saturday, Oct. 3.
The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) was made aware of the emergency after a 911 caller called Pacific County Dispatch at 2:11 p.m. and informed them that people were trapped on a rock with the tide coming in.
“At 2:15 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard was advised, and Grays Harbor [South Beach Regional Fire Authority] was notified so that they could get aid set up,” PCSO Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock said. “At 2:20 p.m., we were advised that the [Coast Guard] was going to launch a helo.”
PCSO Deputy Logan Macomber was one of the first on the scene and got eyes on the trapped individuals. He then began coordinating the rescue with the Coast Guard while the responding helicopter was en route.
At the time of the incident, a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was already in the air off Oregon’s coast, conducting a training mission and was diverted to the scene. The aircrew arrived on scene approximately 34 minutes later and deployed a rescue swimmer to the rock.
Once on the rock, the rescue swimmer assisted the individuals into a rescue basket lowered by the helicopter. They were then taken to a nearby field and handed over to aid units and family members. They were reportedly in good condition with no injuries but were shaken up by the ordeal.
The Coast Guard published a video of the incident on Sunday, Oct. 4. It showed three individuals huddled together on the highest point of the rock. Waves were beginning to crash over, increasing the risk of them being tossed into the cold water.
Similar incidents have happened in the past, but not on the same rock, according to Matlock.
“I don’t recall any instances where people were stranded in that area on that rock,” Matlock said. “We have seen this type of situation before in the Beards Hollow area, which is south of Seaview on the Long Beach Peninsula where people are on the rock climbing around, or fishing and the tide comes in, and they are unable to get back.”
Matlock continued by offering some advice, “Make sure that you know the area that you are recreating in or whatever you’re doing and make sure you understand the tides and understand that the water, even though it’s not there when you begin, it could be there when [you’re done]. Take precautions and be safe.”