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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 :: 06:29 p.m. PDT


Sheriff's Helicopter Henry 1 rescues three men from capsized boat off Gualala Point

Press Release

Henry 1 rescue 10/22/2014, CR#141022-020

On 10/22/2014, at about 1:45 PM, The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Helicopter, Henry 1 was dispatched along with Coast Life Support, Cal-Fire, County Parks and the US Coast Guard to Gualala Point for a report of a capsized boat with three people in the water.

The Henry 1 crew consists of a pilot, deputy sheriff/EMT and a paramedic, all trained to perform long line rescues. The crew arrived on scene at about 2:05 PM and found an approximately twelve foot long, rubber inflatable boat capsized about 300 yards off shore just south of the mouth of the Gualala River. There were three adult men on top of the boat, attempting to paddle with oars. The boat was floating in five to eight foot swells outside of the surf line and only one of the men was wearing a lifejacket.

Due to hazardous surf conditions, and the men’s lack of personal floatation devices, the Henry 1 crew elected to evacuate them from the disabled boat using a 100 foot long line rescue technique. The Henry 1 crew landed on the beach and quickly reconfigured the helicopter for the rescue. Pilot Paul Bradley flew Paramedic Nick Fitzpatrick to the disabled boat where they successfully rescued all three men, flying them one at a time to the beach using a horse collar rescue device. The men were released, uninjured, on the beach.

The men, who ranged in age from 34 years to 66 years reported that they were fishing from the boat when a “Rogue” wave came over the bow and capsized their boat. All three men were thrown into the water but they were able to climb on top of the capsized boat.

The entire Henry 1 crew routinely trains for long line rescues in the ocean, on cliffs and other remote areas located along the North Coast. For additional information on the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Helicopter unit, please visit

Prepared by Sergeant Pete Quartarolo 707.565.7196

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
2796 Ventura Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-565-2650

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