Video: U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Five From Flooding in Washington

Rescue swimmer retrieving man from on top of car amidst flooding
Image courtesy USCG

Published Dec 5, 2023 10:40 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued five people who were trapped by flooding during a major storm near Rosburg, Washington. 

At 1020 hours, Sector Columbia River received a request for helicopter support from the local fire department in Cathlamet, Washington. Four people were trapped in their house, which was immersed in four feet of water. 

A Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from Air Station Astoria to assist, and they arrived on scene just after 1100. However, as soon as the helicopter reached its destination, the Coast Guard diverted it to help another individual who was in more urgent need of aid. A man was trapped on top of his truck in high water, and needed to be hoisted off. 

The helicopter crew rescued the man from atop his truck, and then returned to the house to hoist up the four individuals awaiting an airlift. The crew flew all five back to Air Station Astoria for medical evaluation. 

The flooding in Rosburg was just one effect of the massive "atmospheric river" storm that hit the Pacific Northwest this week. A stream of moist air from the tropics brought temperatures in the mid-60s and record-setting rainfall to Washington and Oregon. Flood warnings are in effect in parts of western Washington, and the town of Forks - a famously rainy hamlet on the Olympic Peninsula - recorded nearly five inches of rain in 24 hours on Tuesday.