[stream base=x:/www.newslincolncounty.com/videos/2012/3 flv=newportrescue.360p.flv img=newportrescue-ff.jpg hd=newportrescue.720p.flv mp4=newportrescue.iPhone.m4v embed=false share=false width=560 height=315 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]
Update on the boaters name: Jene Louis Hale, 53, of Portland.
A number of Newport residents and visitors were calling 9-1-1 frantically this morning, telling dispatchers that there was a blue sport fishing boat off Newport’s north Yaquina Jetty that had been swamped by high waves and that the lone male aboard had been thrown into the chilly waters, estimated to be between 49 and 51 degrees.
Newport Fire/Rescue and the Coast Guard, with two motor lifeboats and a helo, raced to the scene. At first they had a hard time locating the accident since, by then, the boat had sunk and the owner was in the surf. Knowing they were racing the clock on hypothermia, NOAA Captain Wade Blake (who happened to be walking through Government Park at the time) and a responding Coast Guardsman, headed out into the surf. They spotted the victim and raced over and pulled him up and out of the water. Since he could no longer walk due to the onset of hypothermia, the two hauled him to shore where the man was loaded into a fire/rescue beach rig which then headed for the Nye Beach Turnaround with lights and sirens wailing.
There he was transferred to an awaiting ambulance and was rushed to Pacific Communities Hospital where he was undergoing a slow rewarming of his body. He was later identified as Jene L. Hale, 53, of Portland. A Coast Guard spokesman said had Hale not been wearing his life jacket he would have likely drowned after less than five minutes in the cold ocean waters. They estimated that he was immerse in the waves for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile the hull of his recreational fishing boat spotted in the surf line just offshore from the Hallmark Hotel-Resort, along with a lot of debris from the boat, including coolers, clothing and fishing gear. Anyone beachcombing should be alert for debris caught up in the rushing beach surf for the next couple of days.