On 11/26/2011 around 5:30pm Lincoln City Police (LCPD) responded to the area of SE 51st St for reports of a Sea Lion had come up from the river, through a neighborhood, and wandered onto the roadway. Lincoln City Police officers arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the Sea Lion, whom they named Tiffany, to keep her from getting struck by vehicle. Tiffany was very content on staying in the middle of the roadway and slowly moved closer to Hwy 101.
Lincoln City police officers reached out for assistance from the Oregon State Police Fish and Game and North Lincoln Fire and Rescue. OSP Sergeant Plummer stated "I have been in the area over 20 years and this was a first for me." Over the course of the next couple hours several different plans were made and attempted.
In an effort to get Tiffany to the water with as little stress as possible officers attempted to bait Tiffany with some fish. An officer responded to Kenny’s IGA Village Market in Taft and explained what was going on. The staff at Kenny’s donated several packages of fish and refused payment for the fish insisting they wanted to do what they could to help out the animal. The gift of fish was presented to Tiffany, who was interested in the fish, but was likely too overstimulated and unfortunately was not willing to follow the bait. LCPD Officers, and the crew from North Lincoln Fire and Rescue all got together and came up with a plan which was to create a mobile corral with sheets of plywood and herd Tiffany to the nearest river access, at Schooner Creek which was about three blocks away. North Lincoln Fire had some sheets of plywood brought to the scene and the plan was put into motion.
The team was able to successfully herd the sea lion in this manner one block north on SE Keel Avenue, and then one block east on SE 50th Street to a gradual embankment leading to Schooner Creek. After several breaks for the sake Tiffany’s health, and a few refreshing soaks from garden hoses. The sea lion Tiffany, slid safely down the embankment and into a channel of Schooner Creek. The tide was outgoing at the time so there was not a lot of water, but the sea lion will be able to rest in the channel until the tide comes back in, and then swim into Siletz Bay and the Pacific Ocean. A small crowd had gathered to watch the event and at the end, they all chanted “Way to go Tiffany” as the sea lion blew bubbles in the creek.
Lincoln City Police department thanked Oregon State Police Sergeant Plummer, the crew and volunteers at North Lincoln Fire and Rescue, and to the many helpful citizens in the area who kept their distance despite wanting to be involved in such a unique situation.
Information provided by LCPD and OSP. Video by OSP