2 sea kayakers rescued by Coast Guard helicopter at Trinidad, California

Peter-CKM

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JohnAbercrombie

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From another report:

A group of 4 Kayakers were rescued off Trinidad Head by crews from U.S. Coast Guard Station sector Humboldt Bay Sunday morning, February 14th, after receiving a call from one of the kayakers using a hand held VHF radio.

The kayaker reported that two of the kayaks had capsized in gusty winds and 10 foot seas.

Both a U.S. Coast Guard Humboldt Bay Sector MH65 helicopter crew as well as Motor Life Boat crew were immediately dispatched and arrived on scene within minutes and the helicopter crew hoisted two from the water, and the Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay Motor Life Boat crew recovered the other two and their kayaks.


In the video the first paddler hoisted had a rip in the leg of the pants, with black showing underneath, so it wasn't clear to me if it was a drysuit or wetsuit with splash pants over. PFD with knife, helmet, so definitely not the more common poorly-equipped paddler I see in rescue videos online.
Helicopter crew were out training so arrived quickly on the scene.
The other two sea kayaks and kayakers seemed to be OK when they were picked up by the Motor Life Boat - perhaps it was getting back to shore through the surf zone that was the problem?

Water temperature in that area is reported to be 51F (11C) at this time of year. In Victoria it's about 7.5C - be careful out there!
 

CRPaddler

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"The other two sea kayaks and kayakers seemed to be OK when they were picked up by the Motor Life Boat - perhaps it was getting back to shore through the surf zone that was the problem?"

I don't think the Coast Guard would have given the other 2 kayakers an option. They've had to rescue the first 2, so all 4 would have to come in for safety. 1) The coast guard would have a hard time determining how skilled are the remaining 2 kayakers and 2) there's the risk they leave them because they seem fine, then they have to go back for a 2nd rescue or, worst case, they don't make it. I believe in general when a rescue does happen they bring everyone in to stop the chain of events.
 

CRPaddler

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Do they load the kayaks on the rescue boat? The article said the kayakers and their boats were rescued.
They would also rescue the kayaks as well. I would think they would load them up on the rescue boat shown in the video as it is certainly big enough to carry them.

If they don’t pick up the boats then someone is likely to see them floating empty in the near future and call in another rescue. I looked quickly for a video as an example but couldn’t find one. I do recall often when there are a lot of boats involved, ie Coast Guard in helicopter and local fishermen helping out, the coast guard will rescue the kayakers to take them to medical aid quickly and they’ll have the civilian ships helping out pick up kayaks and gear so there are no future false alarms
 

Peter-CKM

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The official line is that they rescue people, not gear. In practice, they do take into account other things, such as whether the gear will be in the way of others, the drifting gear will call future calls for help, the gear can be picked up by commercial salvagers (paid for by the gear owner), whether the coast guard could pick up gear, etc. It seems if it is just a helicopter rescue, kayak gear is left behind. If boat rescue in water, kayak gear is picked up. If kayak and paddler are up on rocks, kayaker will be hoisted by helicopter and gear left behind.

In this case, the 2 who were picked up by the motor life boat would probably require their gear be taken, otherwise they wouldn't get on. They weren't actually being rescued in the standard sense - presumably they would have been able to get themselves back safely on their own.
 
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