HAMMOND, Ore. - The Coast Guard said it rescued a kayaker who fell out of his kayak while paddling towards the Columbia River near Hammond, Oregon, on Sunday.
A Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew successfully lifted the man from the piling and ferried him to shore where he was met by local emergency medical services and released on site.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders received the report of the man in the water from Clatsop County 911 dispatch, reporting that the man struck pilings along his transit and was ejected from his kayak.
The watchstanders directed the launch of the helicopter crew and two Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment small boat crews. Due to the density of the pilings, no water units were able to reach the kayaker.
A Clatsop County Sheriff's Office ground team was also on scene to assist with the rescue and guide the helicopter to the location of the kayaker.
"With spring around the corner, it is important to remind boaters of safety while in the waters along the Oregon and Washington coast," said Mark Dobney, a search and rescue controller at Sector Columbia River.
"The water temperatures in this area hover around 50 degrees year round, and while this man was wearing a proper floatation device, he was not properly dressed for the water. Had it not been our rescue services quick response time, the situation for this kayaker would have quickly become dire."
Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported as 10 mph winds, 2-foot seas and heavy rain.