By Matthew Hochkammer

Law enforcement and rescue crews saved a Gold Beach man Monday after his boat capsized in the ocean off Myers Creek in the Pistol River area.

According to a press release from Sheriff John Ward:

Around 12:01 p.m., Scott Holland, 62, of Gold Beach, was attempting to take his 18-foot fiberglass boat from Gold Beach to Brookings when the craft capsized.

A Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmer, two Gold Beach Fire Department (GBFD) rescue swimmers and an Oregon State Trooper with a dry suit entered the water and were able to reach Holland. The rescue swimmers assisted him back to shore where he was evaluated by Cal-Ore Life Flight for possible hypothermia. Gold Beach Fire Chief Tyson Kriegger said Holland was cold but not hypothermic.

From the time of the original 911 call about the capsizing of the boat until the time Holland was helped out of the water was 21 minutes. The fast response was crucial in saving Holland’s life in the treacherous conditions.

Curry County Sheriffs received a 911 call from a witness who reported a capsized boat in the ocean off Myers Creek in the Pistol River area about seven miles south of Gold Beach. The caller reported seeing one person on board that had been thrown from the boat into the water.

First responders saw the capsized boat about 300 yards offshore in the breakers and could see Holland in the water about 100 yards offshore struggling to swim against the breaking surf.

“It’s nice that all local departments are helping out on the rescues now,” said Kreigger, citing a new memorandum of understanding between first responders, which allows aid from both the county and city to work together on often resource intensive rescues.