One man was thrown into the ocean and another was trapped in the hull of a survey boat working for the Army Corps of Engineers Wednesday morning.
Multiple agencies were alerted via 911 of a boat capsized near the Port of Brookings Harbor at about 11 a.m.
Resident Bill Krause said he saw the overturned boat and a man in the surf and tried to call 911 but couldn’t get through.
He said he ran to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) station to alert them and, when he got near the station, they were already running out.
“The boat was really close to shore,” Krause said. “Only about 25 or 30 feet into the surf.”
Harbor Fire and Rescue Chief John Brazil said the boat was surveying for the Army Corps of Engineers.
“When the boat tipped, one man was able to get off and he informed rescuers another man was on board.”
The freed man was able to swim to shore while the man in the hull was trapped for nearly an hour.
USCG rescuers swam out to the boat and could hear the man inside tapping on the hull.
They were able to tie a line to the bow, but manpower was insufficient to pull the boat onto the beach.
When the line was then tied to a truck, the line snapped as the truck pulled.
A stronger line attached to a winch on a Jeep pulled the boat onto the sand far enough for USCG rescuers and George Edwards, a Search and Rescue (SAR) diver attached to the Curry County Sheriff, to pull the man from the hull.
“He had to be patient and wait for us to get him hooked up and pulled out –– that took courage,” Brazil said.
The man rescued from the hull walked to the parking lot with some help and looked tired and cold but otherwise uninjured.
Sheriff John Ward identified the men as Marshall Tildon and William Stringer, both of Coos Bay. He was unable to say which man was operating the boat or who had been trapped in the boat.
The USCG was supported by Harbor Fire and Rescue, the sheriff’s office, SAR volunteers, Cal-Ore and port employees.
Reach Boyd C. Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org