Rescuers aid Gold Beach man after boat capsizes amid ocean waves

Swimmers from multiple agencies went out to help the man, who stayed afloat thanks to his life vest.

Posted: May 20, 2019 2:38 PM

GOLD BEACH, Ore. — Rescuers rushed to help a Gold Beach man on Monday afternoon when his boat capsized in the Pacific surf, leaving him struggling in the waves.

The Curry County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) said it received a 911 call just after noon, with a witness reporting that a boat had capsized in the ocean off Myers Creek near Pistol River, about seven miles south of Gold Beach.

"The 911 caller reported seeing one person on board that had been thrown from the boat into the water," CCSO said in a statement.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including CCSO deputies, a Search & Rescue (SAR) swimmer, troopers from Oregon State Police (OSP), Gold Beach Fire and Cal Ore Lift Flight. Responders soon sighted the capsized boat about 300 yards offshore amidst the waves, then witnessed a person struggling in the water about 100 yards offshore.

The SAR rescue swimmer, two rescue swimmers from Gold Beach Fire and a state trooper in a dry suit got into the water and swam out to the victim. He was wearing a life vest, and the swimmers were able to safely bring him into shore.

The man was identified as 62-year-old Scott Holland of Gold Beach. Once Holland was on shore, Life Flight crews treated him for possible hypothermia.

"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 twenty-one minutes," CCSO said. "The fast response was crucial in saving Holland’s life in those treacherous conditions."

Authorities determined that Holland had been trying to take his 18-foot fiberglass boat from Gold Beach down to Brookings along the coastline.

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