PRESS RELEASE: July 15, 2017 Menlo Park Fire Protection District Water Rescue San Francisco Bay

Published on Jul 17, 2017 at 05:21p.m.

Water Rescue San Francisco Bay

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) received a report of a 12 foot boat that had capsized with three people aboard in the San Francisco Bay South of the Dumbarton Bridge at 6.18 pm, Saturday, July 15, 2017.

At 6.40 pm USCG, through San Mateo County Public Safety Communications (PSC) requested the assistance of the Menlo Park Fire Protection Districts Air Boat 77 because a more exact location for the incident was determined to be near the old Dumbarton Railroad Trestle and the closest boat launch at Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto is regularly used for Air Boat operations.

Menlo Fire Acting Battalion Chief Chris Pimentel arrived at Cooley Landing at 7 pm and coordinated the Rescue effort with Menlo Engine 2 Captain Ken Oliver who reported they were unable to locate any individuals in the water off of Cooley Landing.

Menlo Fire Airboat 77 arrived on-scene and prepared to launch but with no visible victims, crews waited for an in-bound USCG Helicopter out of San Francisco that was minutes out.

Acting Battalion Chief Pimentel requested that Redwood City and Fremont Fire Departments launch their deep water craft and respond because of high tide, strong current and significant winds, which were not favorable for the use of the flat bottomed Air Boat which is typically used a low tide when shallow water and mud provide for its optimum use.

A USCG Helicopter arrived on Station within 10 minutes and eventually located two men and a boy who were in the water, wearing life preservers and hanging onto a camouflaged Kayak piloted by another man on the Fremont side of the Bay.

A USCG Rescue Swimmer was dropped into the water from the Helicopter and two of the three victims were hoisted into the Helicopter and delivered across the Bay to Cooley Landing where Menlo Park Firefighter Paramedics treated them for hypothermia.

The third victim and Rescue Swimmer were picked up by the Helicopter and also delivered to Cooley Landing at 7.48 pm. Menlo Park Firefighter Paramedics along with an AMR Paramedic Ambulance crew transported all three victims to Stanford University Hospitals Trauma Center.

The three had reportedly launched their boat earlier in the day out of the Don Edwards Estuary in Fremont and capsized in the main channel due the wind and high tide swell. Another man in the Kayak called 911 and reported the incident and allowed the three people to hold onto his Kayak until the Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer arrived.

A January 2017 incident in the same general area resulted in the rescue of one victim in a raft by the Menlo Park Fire Districts Air Boat but sadly the second victim was not located until days later. He was deceased in the water despite the efforts of up to seven rescue water craft and two helicopters from various public safety agencies who spent hours and subsequent days searching for him.

Menlo Park Fire District Chief Schapelhouman said "It's a big Bay and people often under estimate the tide, currents and winds. Despite being surrounded by an urban area of millions of people, it can be a very lonely and dangerous place if something goes wrong out in the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay. These three victims were very lucky! As usual, the Coast Guard did a fantastic job".

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Menlo Park Fire/Paramedic Jereme Robinson walks one of three men pulled from the San Francisco Bay to an awaiting AMR Transport Ambulance after being rescued from the San Francisco Bay by a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer  operating from a USCG Rescue Helicopter

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