Coast Guard Press Release:
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin from Sector Humboldt Bay rescued three hikers when a high tide stranded them on the Lost Coast Trail between vertical cliffs and 10 ft seas.
At 11:28 a.m. Coast Guard District 11 received a notification that three female hikers were trapped along the Lost Coast Trail near Cooksie Creek. The hikers were from the San Francisco Bay area and started their hike yesterday from Shelter Cove. A rising tide rendered the trail impassable, and one hiker was swept into the surf while attempting to get to safety. The other hikers managed to pull her out of the surf, but in the process were exposed to the cold ocean water while the first hiker sustained several gashes to her left hand. The other hikers resourcefully used duct tape to stop the bleeding while the Coast Guard was en route. The three women used their satellite phone to keep the Coast Guard up to date while waiting for rescue.
Coast Guard Helicopter 6573 launched from Sector Humboldt Bay at 12:18 p.m. and arrived on scene at 12:44 p.m., locating the survivors almost immediately due to the accurate location they provided via satellite phone. Due to steep terrain the aircrew deployed the rescue swimmer from a 100’ hover, who determined that the survivors had no immediately life threatening injuries, and the best way to recover the survivors would be via the rescue basket. All three survivors were hoisted into the helicopter followed by the rescue swimmer.
With the three survivors onboard, the helicopter returned to the Arcata airport where an ambulance from Mad River Hospital was waiting to provide medical treatment. The hikers were tended to by the ambulance staff and given a warm shower and dry clothing by the Coast Guard.
The helicopter aircrew was composed of pilots Lieutenant Karyn Forsyth and Lieutenant Taylor Andrew, Flight Mechanic Petty Officer Brett Watts and Rescue Swimmer Chief Charles Brannan.