by Hank Sims
Very sad press release this morning:
MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. - A 27 year old Coast Guardsman died this afternoon after a swimming accident in the Trinity River. Seaman James A. Salac, a Food Service Specialist at Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay, was pulled from the river by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department at approximately 5:34 p.m. after a 911 call alerted authorities of an emergency at Kimtu Beach in Willow Creek, CA.
The Coast Guard dispatched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter to Kimtu Beach on the Trinity River at 4:53 p.m. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection also dispatched a helicopter to the scene and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department responded on the ground. Once on scene, both agencies immediately began searching the area via air and boat.
The HH-65 dolphin arrived on scene at approximately 5:26 p.m. and began searching the river. Once located, the body of Salac was immediately removed from the river by the boat crew and resuscitation efforts began. The Coast Guard helicopter landed at the scene and transported him to St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, CA, where he was later pronounced deceased.
Salac is survived by his wife and infant daughter.
"We will do everything possible to help his family through this difficult time, and like them we will seek strength from the memory of Seaman Salac, whose sense of public service, love of life, and positive outlook brightened the lives of everyone with whom he served," said Captain Christopher Martino, Commanding Officer of Group/Air Station Humboldt Bay.