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Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
Saturday June 20th, 2015 :: 10:24 p.m. PDT


Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Helicopter, Henry-1, rescues stranded boaters off Stillwater Cove.

On 06/20/2015 at approximately 1838 hours, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Helicopter “Henry-1” was dispatched to assist the US Coast Guard and State Park Lifeguards with locating a pleasure boat that had become disabled and was near coastal rocks in the area of Stillwater Cove.

The Helicopter crew launched from the Sonoma County Airport and arrived in the area within 10 minutes, locating the boat. The 21’ Bayliner boat was located between offshore rocks and the rugged surf line. While the boat appeared anchored, the condition of the four people on board was unknown. Due to the location of the boat, the Coast Guard and Lifeguards had an approximate 20 minute estimated time of arrival.

The Henry-1 crew, concerned of the pending darkness and incoming fog hindering a rescue effort, decided to put the paramedic onto the boat to assess the occupants and relay information. The crew landed nearby and set up a 100’ long line. The paramedic, clad in a wetsuit, affixed himself to the bottom of the long line and was flown to the boat, approximately 100 yards offshore. After assessing the situation, it was decided to remove the occupants from the boat for their safety. The helicopter crew’s primary concern was that the Coast Guard motor life boat, which was not on scene, would be unable to access the boat due to the rocks in the area.

Three of the four boaters were removed from the boat and flown to the shore, where the helicopter crew’s Deputy was standing-by. A Coast Guard motor life boat and State Park personal watercraft arrived to the area. As the remaining boater was unhurt, it was decided he would stay aboard the Bayliner, while it was under tow, to control the vessel. State Park Lifeguards towed the vessel out from between the rocks and delivered the boat to the Coast Guard waiting in deeper water. The Coast Guard towed the boat to Ocean Cove.

Care of the boaters removed from the Bayliner was transferred to a Coast Life Support Ambulance.

The Henry-1 Crew routinely trains for rescues in various environments, including coastal cliffs and nearshore water. For more information visit

Report #150620-027

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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