Coast Guard Petty Officer rescues 4 people after fishing boat ra - KPTV - FOX 12

Coast Guard Petty Officer rescues 4 people after fishing boat ran aground near Cape Blanco

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Photos: U.S. Coast Guard Photos: U.S. Coast Guard

A dramatic rescue played out early Tuesday morning, in darkness along the Southern Oregon Coast.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Darren Harrity, an aviation survival technician assigned to Coast Guard Air Station North Bend, answered the rescue call.

"I was just falling asleep and the alarm went off," said Harrity.

FOX 12 spoke with Petty Officer Darren Harrity, 27, by Skype and got his take on one incredible early morning rescue.

The rescue began with a call to save the four man crew of a 52-foot fishing boat that hit the rocks near Cape Blanco. The men had jumped into a life raft, but had no way to get to shore.

Because of heavy winds and some nearby cliffs, the Coast Guard Air Crew couldn't hoist the men up, instead, they had to hoist Harrity down.

"I think the pilot said, 'Harrity, you're going to be doing a lot of swimming tonight'...I think is what he said."

Meaning Harrity would have to personally swim each of the four men from the life boat to the beach about 250 yards away. He'd have to do that four separate times.

"So yeah the first guy hopped in the water and he helped me kick a little bit and yeah we made it, all four of them," said Harrity.

Harrity rescued all four men without using a flotation device.

"It was just me and my muscles and that's it," laughed Harrity.

He did have some help, something most people avoid, rip currents.

"It was actually a nice rip there near the cliff and it was basically just a circle and yeah it helped out quite a bit."

In the end, it was mission accomplished with Harrity swimming the equivalent of a mile in cold, dangerous conditions.

"It felt pretty good until the helicopter left and I had to hitch a ride back," Harrity said.

It was too dangerous to give Harrity a ride back with the other four men in the helicopter.

The Coast Guard said the fishing boat, the Jamie K., did leak some fuel into the water, but crews are working to contain the spill. The fishing boat was also reportedly carrying 10,000 pounds of shrimp.

As for Harrity, it was just another day on the job in his 8 year Coast Guard Career.

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