WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Newport’s Agate Beach: Surfers swept seaward by rip current – stranded on Yaquina Head – Coast Guard Helo to the rescue

Lady surfer caught in rip current off Yaquina Head. Marianne Jerome photo

Lady surfer caught in rip current off Yaquina Head.
Marianne Jerome photo


Male surfer also caught in the rip current. Courtesy photo

Male surfer also caught in the rip current.
Marianne Jerome photo

Surfers scramble up out of the very cold waters in order to avoid hypothermia.

Surfers scramble up out of the very cold waters in order to avoid hypothermia
Marianne Jerome photo


The surfers started climbing up the cliff - a HUGE NO-NO!!

The surfers started climbing up the cliff – a HUGE NO-NO!! Marianne Jerome photo

They actually put themselves in worse danger making the rescue operation more difficult.  Helo prop wash could knock them right off the cliff!

They actually put themselves in worse danger making the rescue operation more difficult. Helo prop wash could knock them right off the cliff! Marianne Jerome photo

The Helo crew got to them anyway... Marianne Jerome photo

The Helo crew got to them anyway…
Marianne Jerome photo

Coast Guard Helo plucks one surfer at a time off the rocks. Maggie White photo

Coast Guard Helo plucks one surfer at a time off the rocks.
Maggie White photo

Coast Guard dropping off rescued surfers at Agate Beach Kelli Albright photo

Coast Guard dropping off rescued surfers at Agate Beach
Kelli Albright photo


Click on photos to enlarge

12:05PM
Report of surfers caught in a rip current at Agate Beach near the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Coast Guard has been summoned.

12:20PM
Two surfers have climbed out of the water, with their boards, onto some rocks beneath a high cliff. They’re a ways out from the beach.

12:30PM
Surfers are trying to climb the cliff which firefighters say is putting them in greater danger.

12:31PM
Coast Guard helo is enroute from Coos Bay. ETA of 30 to 40 minutes.

12:34PM
Surfers have climbed up into a dead end. Now they’re stuck.

12:35PM
Coast Guard motor lifeboat is 15 minutes away.

12:42PM
Lincoln County Rope Rescue now being called out.

2:00PM
Coast Guard helo on scene.

2:40PM
Both surfers rescued. Safely back on the beach.

As a footnote to the rescue, fire rescue and the Coast Guard recommend that if you get into this kind of a situation, find a spot safely above the water line and then stop. Don’t climb up steep cliffs. You could slip and fall, seriously injuring yourself. Also helicopters put out a lot of downward wind that can dislodge you from a precarious perch making your rescue much more complicated.

When you climb out of the water onto the rocks try to get about ten feet up off the water and STAY THERE and WAIT to be rescued.

And by the way, if you’re surfing around any headlands or rocky shore lines, pay close attention to the tides. Knowing whether it’s coming in or going out can make a big difference in your options if something goes wrong.

P.S. A big ole THANK YOU to Kelli Albright, Maggie White and Marianne Jerome who did a terrific job of getting superb photos of this rescue, and allowing us to share them with everyone. And with 55,000 viewers that’s a lotta folks!! Way to go ladies!!! GGRRRRREAAAAT JOB!!

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