John Ross Ferrara / Tuesday, Aug. 13 @ 3:49 p.m. / Emergencies
UPDATE: (VIDEO) Coast Guard Station Chetco River Rescues Distressed Kayakers Near Natural Bridges Viewpoint
Video taken by U.S. Coast Guard Station Chetco River.
UPDATE, 5:33 p.m.:
Petty Officer Roman S. Waln with U.S. Coast Guard Station Chetco River told the Outpost moments ago that all three kayakers safely beached themselves at Secret Beach before rescuers arrived on scene.
The father’s kayak — designed for river rafting — reportedly started sinking while he was paddling under Natural Bridge, prompting a hiker in the area to call for help.
“Somebody was hiking near Natural Bridge and happened to see an overturned kayak,” Waln said.
When rescuers first arrived on scene, they had trouble locating a third kayak and initially thought a water rescue was necessary. However, when the rescue swimmer made contact with the family it was reported that everyone was safe and in good health.
The rescue swimmer, who was lowered into the water by helicopter, then escorted the kayakers to a motor lifeboat, which dropped them off at Station Chetco River where they were picked up by family members.
While the family’s kayaks weren’t designed for ocean paddling, Waln said all three kayakers were wearing life jackets, which may have prevented a more dangerous situation.
U.S. Coast Guard Station Chetco River rescued a group of distressed kayakers roughly 45 minutes ago, just north of the Natural Bridges Viewpoint in Brookings.
The kayakers were reportedly escorted to safety by a rescue swimmer, who was lowered into the shallow water by a Coast Guard helicopter.
The kayakers — a father and his two sons — have been taken to Coast Guard Station Chetco River. It's unclear at this time if the two sons were juveniles or if any kayakers suffered injuries.
We will update when we know more.