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Beachgoer Rescued After A Fall On The Slippery Rocks

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 9:17 am, Depoe Bay Fire District (DBFD) was dispatched to a reported slip and fall at Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area at Otter Rock. Early reports indicated the fall victim was located on the South side of the bowl, on the beach. However, the actual location was on the rocky shoreline on the North side of the bowl. Depoe Bay Fire District Firefighters hiked down the trail that led to the victim's location. The fall victim was located on the rocky shoreline outside of the bowl.

The fall victim attempted to walk back to the trail from the rocky shoreline; however, she was having difficulty navigating over the slippery rock surface and slipped and fell while attempting to walk back to the sand. DBFD firefighters determined that the Lincoln County Rope Rescue Team was needed to effect a safe and timely rescue because of the slippery rock surface and the fall victim's injuries. Depoe Bay Fire District Firefighters assessed the victim and treated and stabilized her for non-life-threatening injuries. The Lincoln County Rope Rescue team, comprised of firefighters from other fire districts throughout Lincoln County, arrived on the scene and formulated a rescue plan with the Incident Commander.

A ladder truck was utilized to assist in the rescue efforts. Once a rigging system was in place, rope rescue team personnel were lowered to the victim. The victim was secured to a "stokes basket," attached to a main rope line and a belay line and was successfully hoisted up to the stable parking lot. Once the victim was placed safely on the parking lot grounds, they were transferred to the awaiting paramedic unit for further treatment and transport to a local hospital emergency room. The firefighters and paramedics who hiked down the trail to reach the victim required the rope team to lift them up off of the slippery & rocky shoreline using the same rope system the rope team utilized to rescue the victim as the tide was coming in much sooner than anticipated.

Thanks to the swift and efficient response and operation of the firefighters and the rope rescue team, fire rescue personnel and the fall victim were safely removed from the rocky shoreline. The successful rescue operation at Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area was a testament to the seamless teamwork and coordination among the Depoe Bay Fire District, Lincoln County Rope Rescue Team, Newport Fire Department, North Lincoln Fire Rescue, Siletz Valley Rural Fire Protection District, Toledo Fire Department, Pacific West Ambulance, Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, and Oregon State Parks Department.

The Depoe Bay Fire District would like to stress the importance of safety when navigating the rocky shoreline. It can be dangerous if you let your guard down. Plan ahead by checking the weather forecast including current tide information, wearing appropriate clothing, and letting friends & family know of your plans prior to engaging on your expedition. We want our citizens and tourists to enjoy themselves while visiting the coast, however, we want them to do so safely.

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