A Coast Guard rescue aircrew from Air Station North Bend safely hoisted a stranded kayaker near Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park, Sunday.
The man was safely transported by an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew to the scenic overlook with no injuries.
Local 911 dispatchers notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend at 12 p.m., that strong current and wave heights caused a male kayaker to capsize, become separated from his kayak and climb onto a rock formation south of the cove at Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park. A North Bend-based aircrew, in transit to assume duty at Air Facility Newport, was diverted to provide assistance.
A rescue team from Lincoln County arrived on scene but was unable to reach the man’s location. The aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer, who assessed the kayaker’s condition, safely hoisted him and transported him to the scenic overlook at about 1:20 p.m.
“We picked him up off the rocks, hoisted him and side-stepped over to the lot,” said Lt. Erik Anderson, pilot of the Dolphin helicopter. “Our crew were able to augment the efforts of the local rescue team and get the survivor to safety before something catastrophic could happen.”
Weather on scene was reported to be 10-mile visibility with 50-degree water and 8-to-12 foot seas.