At about 10:30 this morning, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Hamilton was at the North Jetty to caution visitors about the danger of getting too close to the water during winter storms. While he was there, several people yelled to Deputy Hamilton that people had been swept into the water from the jetty. Deputy Hamilton ran out along to the jetty, toward the point, and saw one person already in the water but still clinging to the rocks. Deputy Hamilton could also see two people, “hunkering” down behind rocks on the jetty, trapped by big waves. A ranger with the Bureau of Land Management arrived to assist. As Deputy Hamilton continued toward the stranded people, he saw the man in the water pull himself onto the jetty and run toward him. The last two people were then able to run between waves and safely leave the jetty. Deputy Hamilton and the BLM Ranger were still unsure if there were additional victims on the water. Still on the jetty themselves and dodging waves, Deputy Hamilton and the Ranger searched the water.
The US Coast Guard sent assistance but any further search was called off when it appeared that there were no additional people in the water.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is advising the public to use extreme caution in beach areas and in harbor entrances during winter storms. Underestimating the size of waves or power of the ocean can lead to tragic consequences. Please be safety-minded when enjoying the beauty of the North Coast.