On 07-07-2012 at approximately 8:30PM, the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was notified that two subjects were stranded on the east side of the Trinity River in Willow Creek at mile marker 3. One of the subjects possibly had a broken leg.
Sheriff Deputies along with Hoopa Tribal Police, Willow Creek Fire personnel and Hoopa Fisheries responded to rescue the two subjects. It was later learned that the subjects, identified as Terry Houser (27) and James Litchfield (55) both of Eureka, were canoeing down the river when for unknown reasons the canoe capsized. Both subjects were able to make it to shore but the canoe was lost down river. Both subjects were transported to Mad River Community Hospital for treatment.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that as the weather heats up and they recreate at local rivers to use caution. The rivers are still high, cold and swift. Do not swim alone, alcoholic beverages and swimming do not mix. If you have small children watch them closely, they can be swept downstream quickly. Many of the river bottoms have changed over the winter months, many times there can be sudden steep drop offs near shallow areas. Have cell phones and life vests or other floatation devices available. Veteran swimmers have lost their lives in local rivers which are swift, fast and cold.