-- Dramatic new video from the U.S. Coast Guard shows USCG crews saving two local fire rescue personnel who had fallen into the ocean during their search for a missing 17-year-old girl earlier this week.
With rough seas off the coast of Cape Kiwanda in Oregon, a Coast Guard crew member repelled from a Jayhawk chopper to recover the North Lincoln Fire and Rescue workers, who had been knocked off their jet skis by a large wave.
One worker suffered severe facial abrasions and was knocked unconscious, said NLFR public information officer Jim Kusz, who called Coast Guard air members "guardian angels."
During the harrowing rescue, one Coast Guard swimmer had to “detach and swim into a sea cave” to locate one of the missing rescue workers, said USCG media relations chief David French.
During that time, the USCG crew temporarily lost visual contact with the swimmer, who emerged 30 seconds later with a rescue worker clasped in his arms.
“He’s floating into the cave, sir,” a chopper crew member said over his radio. “I can’t – I’ve lost sight of him.”
Together, the Coast Guard swimmer and rescue worker were hoisted onto the beach.
The video is punctuated by “altitude” and “traffic” alarms warning the chopper crew that they were flying “extremely close to the rocky cliff face,” French explained.
One of the victims was transferred to an emergency medical services facility in nearby Lincoln City, Oregon. He has since been released.
After more than 19 hours of searching, the Coast Guard suspended the search for the 17-year-old girl, who had reportedly fallen off a cliff while hiking.