The Coast Guard rescued two recreational boaters in distress near Netarts Bay, located about 5 miles southwest of Tillamook, Wednesday morning. Watch-standers at the Sector Columbia River Command Center received a Mayday call from a handheld maritime radio at 8:45 a.m., and immediately directed the launch of two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Station Tillamook Bay and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Astoria.
A man and woman were fishing off a jet-propulsion type personal watercraft near Netarts Bay when they pushed into the surf and were flipped over by a wave, causing them to fall overboard. The man had a small marine radio which he used to make a Mayday call and help direct rescue crewmembers to their location. Crewmembers from Station Tillamook Bay safely recovered the two people in distress, who were reportedly shivering but responsive, at 9:27 a.m. and transported them to Station Tillamook Bay in Garibaldi to awaiting Emergency Medical Service technicians at 10:06 a.m. for further medical attention.
“There wasn’t anybody else out there today,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Bradley Larson, who assisted in the rescue. “If not for the life-jackets, wetsuits, and especially the radio, our chances of finding them, before they succumbed to hypothermia, would have been very slim.”