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May-30-2009 20:00printcommentsVideo

Amazing Video Documents Coast Guard Rescuing Soldiers on Capsized Boat (VIDEO)

Witness the breathtaking, dramatic rescue of six Oregon Guard soldiers on a capsized boat off the Washington coast. This excellent video is shot by Kelly Parker, a Coast Guard petty officer in Astoria, Oregon.

Coast Guard rescue off Washington coast 5-29-09
Video and photos: Kelly Parker/U.S. Coast Guard

(ASTORIA, Ore.) - The Coast Guard sent Salem-News.com dramatic footage of a rescue at sea Friday involving six members of the Oregon National Guard whose vessel capsized during a training mission.

Petty Officer Third Class Kelly Parker's video camera caught the action from a MH-60J rescue helicopter that flew to the scene from Coast Guard's Group/Air Station Astoria in Oregon.

The overturned boat with the guardsmen clinging to the hull was mostly submerged, but enough hull space remained above the surface for the six men to stay relatively dry.

That is, until it was time for each of the six to jump back into the ocean and make their way over to the 47-foot rescue boat.

None seemed overly challenged with the task, and with the help of a Coast Guard swimmer, lowered from the nearby hovering rescue helicopter, they swam, one by one, to the 47-motor lifeboat crew from Station Cape Disappointment, Washington.

The Coast Guard Group Air Station in Astoria received a brief mayday call without a location at approximately 10:00 a.m. The call was received by the Coast Guard's Rescue 21 communications tower on Megler Mountain, Wash. The Rescue 21 system provided rescuers with a single line of bearing from where the mayday call originated.

Even more helpful, a person standing watch at a Cape Disappointment observation tower, known as a "watchstander", reported spotting six persons waving while stranded on top of the overturned boat.

"In this case, an uncorrelated mayday, where the radio transmission does not include a position and nature of distress, the Rescue 21 communication system proved extremely valuable." said Cmdr. Jeffery Kotson, Group/Air Station Astoria's operations officer.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Cape Disappointment, Wash., and an MH-60J rescue helicopter crew from Group/Air Station Astoria were dispatched.

The Coast Guard quickly arrived on scene, thanks to modern technology, and a rescue swimmer was lowered from the rescue helicopter to help bring the six men safely off the vessel and over to the awaiting crew of the motor lifeboat.

The six were transferred by motor lifeboat to Station Cape Disappointment to awaiting emergency medical services. There were no reports of injuries.

"This is a great example of military services looking out for each other," said Capt. Stephan Bomar, a spokesman for the Oregon Military Department.

The six Oregon National Guardsmen were on a training mission when their boat capsized crossing the Columbia River at a location known as Peacock Spit. The cause of the capsizing is under investigation.



Bonnie King is one of the few media professionals who has extensive time in four relevant areas; radio, television, newspaper and Internet. She has been with Salem-News.com since August '04. Bonnie served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas" (2 seasons), and her path also led to posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness of her nature is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.

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Daniel June 1, 2009 8:15 pm (Pacific time)

Its good to see the tax dollars being used for rescue , a well photographed piece . Bonnie you raise the question about the ONG with out life jackets , did you get an answer ?

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