Rescuers rescue rescuers

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A U.S. Coast Guard 47-ft. surf boat from Station Depoe Bay rescued two rescuers Friday afternoon, picking up two members of an elite water rescue team and towing their defective Jet Ski 25 miles from Pacific City to Depoe Bay.

DEPOE BAY — A U.S. Coast Guard surf boat from Station Depoe Bay rescued two rescuers Friday afternoon when their Kawasaki Jet Ski, operated by North Lincoln Fire and Rescue (NLF&R) Water Rescue Team, lost power and left its two-man crew adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

Firefighters Sam Hockett, left, and Eric Maestas, members of NLF&R’s elite Water Rescue team, lost power on their Kawasaki Jet Ski about noon as they attempted to reach a group of people who appeared stranded on famous Haystack Rock near Pacific City. (Photos by Rick Beasley, Beacon Media)

Firefighters Sam Hockett and Eric Maestas, members of NLF&R’s elite Water Rescue team, lost power on their Kawasaki Jet Ski about noon as they attempted to reach a group of people who appeared stranded on famous Haystack Rock near Pacific City. Unable to develop enough power to make it past the breakers and back to the beach, they radioed for help to an oncoming 47-foot USCG vessel.

Firefighters Sam Hockett and Eric Maestas, members of NLF&R’s elite Water Rescue team, lost power on their Kawasaki Jet Ski about noon as they attempted to reach a group of people who appeared stranded on famous Haystack Rock near Pacific City. Unable to develop enough power to make it past the breakers and back to the beach, they radioed for help to an oncoming 47-foot USCG vessel.

Contrary to the excited 911 call, it was determined the people on Haystack Rock were in fact skilled free divers, and in no danger.

“…sometimes you just have to make the decision to go in based on the information you’ve got.” reflected firefighter Eric Maestas.

The Water Rescue Team is slated to get a new Yamaha personal watercraft this year to replace the defective 2016 Kawasaki.

The NLF&R Water Rescue squad responds to more than a dozen calls each year and has saved multiple lives of people swept helplessly into Oregon’s unforgiving surf. USCG Station Depoe Bay has a remarkable record as well, including a number of nighttime rescues of boat crews going down in stormy seas.

But this may be the first time one rescued the other.

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Rick Beasley
Special to Homepage, Rick Beasley is an award-winning journalist across newsprint and digital media. Also founder of the Depoe Bay Beacon and Beacon Media.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s kinda funny that since Dahlman became chief the equipment hasn’t been kept up? The ski’s use to be replaced every 5 years but he has never liked the water rescue team so he doesn’t care about it. He would rather chase off the volunteers and get more paid firefighters it’s not the way to go down here but now we all get to pay a lot more in taxes for them.

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