Saturday, December 2, 2023

[UPDATE: All Rescued]Twelve People are Stuck Due to Rising Tides on Howard Creek Beach—Water Rescue Underway


Scanner traffic at 12:04 p.m. requested rescue personnel from Mendocino Coast fire agencies respond to Howard Creek Beach to conduct a water rescue.

Initial reports indicate that a person is trapped along the beach due to high tide. Rescuers are discussing what equipment would be most appropriate to conduct the rescue operation.

A number of agencies were requested including Fort Bragg Fire, Westport Fire, CAL FIRE, and a CalStar air ambulance.

UPDATE 12:21 p.m.: An update from the reporting party stated that there are a total of twelve people stuck on the beach, their path impeded by a large rock and the rising tide. The access point was described as one mile north of the campground.

UPDATE 12:26 p.m.: A report from a rescuer on scene indicates the location of the incident is Vista Point north of the Abalone Point Campground. He described 10-12 people with no apparent injuries stuck in a “cave/cove” unable to get extricate themselves due to the rising tides.

UPDATE 12:31 p.m.: A five-meter rescue boat is being deployed out of the Noyo Harbor and making its way to the scene.

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UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: Rescuers at the scene are requesting the Coast Guard station in Humboldt Bay be contacted so they could deploy a helicopter with a basket.

The group reportedly consists of seven children and three adults. The high tide is 2:00 p.m. meaning it will continue to rise.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: CalStar air ambulance reported they have the ability to take three people at a time if an appropriate landing zone could be established.

UPDATE 12:56 p.m.: There are reportedly 11 total “souls” on the beach and any/all air support report to the beach.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: A helicopter is at the scene equipping to conduct short hauls of the parties on the beach.

The Coast Guard helicopter has been canceled but the rescue boat will continue to the scene.

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: A CALFIRE Helicopter has commenced hauling the parties out of the cove.

UPDATE 2:49 p.m.: Reports from the scene indicate all eleven parties have been successfully extricated from the beach.

UPDATE 2:58 p.m.: The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office posted on their Facebook page these images of the rescue:

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Please remember that this story is unfolding. Information is being reported as we gather it. However, some of the information coming from witnesses and initial official reports could be wrong. We will do our best to get the facts but, in the case that something is inaccurate, we will update with correct information as soon as we can.

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  1. Maybe they should be a little more cautious when dealing with the ocean. Perhaps they should also fork over some dough for ALL DEPARTMENTS COMING TO THEIR RESCUE.

  2. How embarrassing. This could have been easily avoided by a little forethought, planning and observation. Looks like they might have safely waited out the tide, too, instead of hollering for help, and the kids would have learned a very valuable lesson. I sincerely hope they reimburse the rescuing parties.

  3. The group reportedly consists of seven children and three alleged adults. The high tide is 2:00 p.m. meaning it will continue to rise.

    Sneaker Waves don’t get any press? Tide charts not available? A little forethought before blundering out into the wilds?

    Naw, Uncle Sugar will rescue me!

    The brave first responders risk their lives, get little thanks and some even want to defund them. They are all heroes!

    There should be fines for blatant stupidity and child endangerment.

  4. What happened to the good old days when you just had to wait for the tide to change if you were foolish enough to wander too far?

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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