A hiker died on Sunday after being swept into the Pacific Ocean near Shelter Cove on the Lost Coast Trail in Humboldt County. The incident began at approximately 2:45 p.m. with a call for two people in the water, one mile north of the Black Sands Beach trailhead.
According to Nick Pape, Chief, Shelter Cove Fire, two ocean rescue units and two beach rescue units were deployed as well as numerous other emergency response agency resources.
The Shelter Cove Fire beach rescue unit contacted a group of hikers who confirmed that two individuals from their party were swept into the ocean. One patient was actively treading water in the rough waves and one was face down approximately 50-100 yards offshore.
The ocean rescue unit deployed a boat and jet ski from the marina and made the five-mile trek to the patients in rough 15-20 foot swells and whitecaps. Both patients were transported back to the marina and awaiting Emergency Medical Technicians.
The conscious patient was transferred to an ambulance and treated by EMTs. A landing zone was established at the Shelter Cove airport and the patient was transported by air ambulance to a hospital for further treatment. Their medical condition is unknown at this time. The second patient was declared deceased at the scene by paramedics.
This incident is under investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The Shelter Cove Fire Department extends its condolences to the victim’s family and friends and wishes for a speedy recovery to the surviving patient. Shelter Cove’s Fire Department Ocean Rescue Team trains every month in all conditions to prepare for events such as this.
The Department reminds individuals to respect the ocean. Do not swim or go near the water in unknown terrain. Never turn your back on the ocean. Heed posted warning signs. Talk to locals about where it is safe to play and swim before going to any beach.
For more ocean safety tips see: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23792
The Shelter Cove Fire Department wishes to thank all that responded to this incident: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), City Ambulance, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Reach Air Ambulance, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, United States Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay.