MEN HELPED STRICKEN FISHERMAN
September 05, 2000 11:00 pm

Two Brookings men attempted to save a mans life before the U.S. Coast Guard was able to arrive.

Clellon Baker and Dick Tylock had just caught a limit of salmon Thursday when they heard the call for help over Channel 2 on the citizens band radio: I have a heart attack on board my boat by Bird Island. I need help.

They were fishing from the pleasure boat Lucky 6, owned by Baker. The two regularly go fishing with each other.

The two were only 300 yards from the boat Gibs Girl, from which the call for help had been issued.

They immediately went to the boat, and started administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Tom Garrett, 75, of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. He was lying unconscious, maybe dead, on the deck of the small boat.

Baker had taken a CPR class, and Tylock was trained in CPR as a volunteer member of the Cape Ferrelo Fire Department, Baker said.

Baker said he radioed for help from the Coast Guard over channel 9.

The message was picked up on the boat Flat Broke, and was relayed to the Coast Guard, which asked for a location. The Lucky 6 relayed it to the Coast Guard.

Baker said a few minutes later a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, which was in the area, attempted to lower its litter to the boat. But the attempt failed because the prop wash from the chopper kept blowing the litter out of my hand. A later attempt was successful when they lowered a weighted line to the board, which was used to pull the litter aboard, Baker said.

Bill Frisch, a guide, was in another boat, and came alongside to give a bottle of nitroglycerine heart liquid. Baker said they gave some of it to Garrett.

After the litter was on board, the 47-foot U.S. Coast Guard boat put two persons on board Gibs Girl. One was a woman.

With their arrival, Tylock turned the CPR responsibilities over to the helicopter. They put Garrett into the litter, and it was lifted into the helicopter above.

Garrett was pronounced dead on arrival at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City.

Baker said everything was done for Garrett that could have been done. The deceased had a history of heart problems, witnesses said.

Ironically, Garrett died with a fish on his line, Baker said.

The role of Baker and Tylock in the rescue was not included in the Coast Guards official account of the incident. Baker said that with stepping forward with the information, he was not taking anything away from the Coast Guards effort. He said Tylock deserved the recognition.