Always Ready: An inside look at US Coast Guard rescue preparation


Humboldt County, Ca., (KIEM)- The men and women at the US Coast Guard Air Station in Humboldt County are always ready to spring into action and save lives. They constantly practice tricky rescue operations, on cliff faces and over the bay. Air craft are kept in tip-top shape, with the engines removed every 600 flight miles for inspection, cleaning and routine repair. When calls come in, practice is proved and it’s clear crews are primed to take on any challenge.

On Saturday a 16-year-old hiker was stranded on a 300 foot cliff near Crescent City. He had fallen from the trail, and the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Department turned to the United States Coast Guard to bring the teen to safety.


Nearly every inch of the 250 foot cable on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was needed to rescue the young man. He flagged down the chopper with a light on his cellphone. Rescue swimmer, Petty Officer 1st Class Nick Gardner was lowered to the cliff face after 10 at night.

While a rescue in the dark at that height isn’t easy, when you’re sitting inside a helicopter with a crew from Humboldt Bay, its clear that they’re not strangers to challenging situations, and they’re prepared to take them in stride.