Coast Guard crews rescue another crew searching for teen - KPTV - FOX 12

Coast Guard crews rescue another crew searching for teen

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Coast guard crew lowering a line to help a firefighter who was washed off his vehicle during a search for a missing teen. Coast guard crew lowering a line to help a firefighter who was washed off his vehicle during a search for a missing teen.
ASTORIA, OR (KPTV) -

The rescue crews were trying to find a missing teenager who fell into the ocean near Cape Kiwanda ended up saving others helping with the search.

Members of the Coast Guard helicopter crew at the scene described the conditions near the search area during the rescue as, “hairy for sure.”

They were initially out searching for missing 17-year-old Megan Owens from Washington. Investigators said she slipped off the rocks and fell into the ocean Monday.

After a long search for her, the Coast Guard crew got word that two firefighters who were also searching for the teen were in trouble.

“So quickly our mission changed from searching for the girl to searching to rescuing fellow rescuers," Aircraft Commander Lt. Rob McCabe explained.

An OSP trooper's body camera captured the moment the waves knocked over the Search and Rescue watercraft, throwing the two firefighters into the water.

“The wave action, we had about 10, 15 foot swell into a confined area that was changing,” Lt. McCabe said. “As they hit the rocks, some waves were splashing up 30, 40 feet."

Flight mechanic David Corcino noted that time was of the essence to get the firefighters out.

“We have two guys in the water at this point, and in our minds we're like, ‘We need to get these guys out or they're not going to make it’ essentially," he said.

The crew on the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter jumped into action, hoisting one firefighter up and onto the beach.

But the Coast Guard member down in the water, Michael Spencer, said the other firefighter was drifting back towards a cave.

Spencer said his team was able to work perfectly together to get the second firefighter out to safety.

"The conditions sucked, and it wasn't easy to get them out, but they put me right where I needed to be," he said.

And while this rescue was tough, the crew says they never expect their job to be easy.

"We train to a standard, but everything's there,” Spencer said. “You’ve got to think outside the box a little bit. It was difficult."

Both those firefighters who had to be rescued were taken to the hospital, and one of them has been released with minor injuries.

There has been no sign of the missing girl and because of the dangerous conditions crews had to call off the search.

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