U.S. Coast Guard
TRINIDAD – Sunday afternoon, June 7 the U.S. Coast Guard rescued two people, one with injuries, from the base of a cliff near Indian Beach between Moonstone Beach and Trinidad.
At the request of CalFire, at 3:30 p.m. the Coast Guard diverted a MH-65D helicopter that was already in the air on a pre-planned training mission to assist two stranded people near Indian Beach south of Trinidad.
A 16-year-old female and her older sister were traversing rocks near the water when the younger girl slipped and fell approximately 15 feet on to a small rock outcropping possibly breaking her arm and causing severe abrasions.
Hampered by injuries and unable to successfully extract themselves due to impassable cliffs, the sisters used a cell phone to call for help. Once on scene, CalFire first responders located the females but were unable to remove them due to the steep terrain and precarious location and relayed the call for help to the Coast Guard.
The crew of Rescue 6558, piloted by Lt. Keith Roberts and Lt. J.J. Briggs maneuvered the helicopter under thick fog and slowly searched the shoreline north of Moonstone Beach. They located the survivors clinging to the rocks in a knee deep rising tide. Unable to hoist from directly above because of overhanging cliffs, the crew decided to move the survivors away from the cliffs.
Flight mechanic Aviation Maintenance Technician Matt Lawrence lowered rescue swimmer Aviation Survival Technician Chief Neil Cahoon into the water adjacent to the women where he carried each through the rising surf. Both were then hoisted to safety. Upon landing at the Mad River Community Hospital, both survivors were treated for their injuries and hypothermia.
Lt. Roberts said, “This was a multi-agency team effort in that CalFire located the survivors and provided an on scene weather assessment to our crew, enabling us to hoist the survivors to safety.”