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Children Swept out to Sea – heroically saved

An off-duty Coast Guardsman and a local good Samaritan rescued two boys after they were swept out by the tide near the Siuslaw River North Jetty, Saturday.

Fireman Dana Gagliardi, a member of Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River, and Angelo Santiago, of Springfield, together returned the boys to their parents on shore and stood by until they were transferred to emergency medical service personnel, who arrived shortly after.

While visiting the jetty, Gagliardi observed around 4:25 p.m. a woman screaming hysterically about her son in the water. Her husband reportedly ran in from the shoreline to inform the mother the two boys had been sucked out into the surf.

Gagliardi was able to spot the boys in the surf as they were being pulled further away from the shore. Both Gagliardi and Santiago reacted, with each man swimming after one of the boys.

“I immediately attempted to swim out to the boys in distress,” said Gagliardi. “After fighting through the breaking surf, I reached one of the young boys. He grabbed a hold of my back and I swam back to shore.”

Gagliardi was coming ashore with one of the two boys, when he was met by Santiago, who had just saved the other boy. When Gagliardi turned to go back for the other boy, Santiago quickly informed him that the other boy was safe ashore.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend also received a call about the boys at 4:25 p.m. from a reporting source on the beach. An MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter crew form Coast Guard Air Station North Bend and two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Station Siuslaw River were launched in response, but both boys had been safely returned to shore before they arrived on scene.

Sector watchstanders were informed around 4:44 p.m. that both boys were returned to shore and transferred to EMS.