On Jan. 3, North Lincoln Fire and Rescue (NLFR) received a report of a man in the water in Lincoln City.
The man was suspected to be under the influence, naked and trudging through the waves. Lincoln City was under a high surf advisory last weekend with waves as high as 30 feet.
At one point, the man was in deep water and was struck by a wooden log. A local resident, Steven Moore, said he heard the man yelling and called his neighbors to help him extract the man out of the surf.
“I called my neighbor Jimmy. Him and another guy walk up and we all see the man in the ocean getting taken over by waves,” Moore said. “We immediately start making our way down to him using the edge of the rocks dodging several sneaker waves.”
Mr. Moore said that before they were able to reach him, they saw a rescue team approaching the scene. Watching as the rescue crews fought the massive wave surge, Moore and his neighbors decided to help out as well.
“Jimmy, myself and another guy go in once we see the tide starting to recede. We get up to him and try to get him to come back and he starts fighting with us immediately, grabbing my hair, taking us all down into a big wave,” Moore said. “I grab his hand and rip it from my hair, we are taken over by several waves and I go under for a few seconds planting my feet away from the ocean, this is the time the rescue team comes in and starts assisting us getting him out.”
Moore said the man continued to struggle until each rescuer was able to grab him by each of his limbs. The crew was then hit by several sneaky waves. Moore said they were able to get the man to a nearby flat spot when they decided their work was done.
“They eject him and subdue him then load him onto a board and load him into an ambulance,” Moore said. “We were in the water about four minutes and in total I saw him in the water for over 15 minutes.”
NLFR Chief Robb Dahlman said the rescue took 4 NLFR personnel and the 3 bystanders who were all risking their lives to save the man.
“I was called by Lincoln City Police Sgt. Randy Weaver who had to relay the fact that it was sheer heroism on the part of NLFR personnel that saved this mans life,” Dahlman said.
Without the heroic efforts of Mr. Moore, his neighbors and rescue personnel, the unidentified man would have surely lost his life!