Father and son thankful for rescue crews who saved the teen near - KPTV - FOX 12

Father and son thankful for rescue crews who saved the teen near Depoe Bay

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(courtesy U.S. Coast Guard) (courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)
(KPTV) -

A West Linn father and son said they were very grateful after firefighters and members of the U.S. Coast Guard were able to rescue the teen after he had a seizure in a cove near Depoe Bay.

Mike Barrett was with his 19-year-old son Caleb when the teen began having a seizure while they were hiking in Whale Cove just south of Depoe Bay Tuesday.

It is a very remote area where the family has some property, so remote and steep, in fact, that the Barretts and a family friend didn't climb down into the cove but rather got down by rope.

Mike took a photo of his son sitting on a rock, then noticed something wasn't right.

“He sat down on the rock and couldn't walk and I asked him what was wrong and he said, ‘I don't feel right,’” he told FOX 12. “Then he said, ‘Dad, something is really wrong,’ and we walked him about 10 feet and … he couldn't even stand up anymore.”

"I made it known to my dad and his friend that something was very, very wrong and I needed help," Caleb added.

Mike said it was only a matter of minutes before Caleb had minor convulsions that turned into a full-blown seizure. He said he did what he could to try and comfort his son until help could arrive.

“It was frightening, but, you know, I'm on the phone with 911, I am listening to them, they are saying, ‘Roll him over on his side and protect his airway,’” he said, “I was talking to him, trying to comfort him, and then the paramedics showed up from Depoe Bay Fire and that was a dream.”

The paramedics gave Caleb medicine, but the teen was in such a remote area that crews couldn't get him out without help from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Still, because of the tree height and a strong east wind over the steep terrain, the Coast Guard and Depoe Bay Fire and Rescue were not able to hoist the teen off the cliff.

“He was totally unconscious, and then the Coast Guard came and they had to make a couple passes because it was a fairly dangerous place to land,” Mike said.

Instead, the Coast Guard made a difficult landing on a cove shelf inside a tidal pool, some 100 feet below the cliff the teen was on

“There's a lot of trees, there is a lot of exposed reef. The coast guard didn't know if the reef was stable or not.” Barrett explained. “They took a risk and landed right down there on the reef, which was amazing, and we were able to put him in a stretcher and carry him to the helicopter.”

Luckily, the tide was low and rescuers were able to get the Caleb to a local hospital.

“The paramedic and the pilot of the Coast Guard were just incredible and willing to do anything and everything to get me up and safe,” Caleb told FOX 12.

Mike said his son does not have a history of seizures except for a couple when he was a child, so the teen will be seeing a neurologist soon to see exactly what happened.

For now, the 19-year-old George Fox University student is now resting at home. His father said he has a giant headache but seems otherwise fine.

Caleb’s family credits the quick action of the medical teams and the Coast Guard with the rescue, and while he hasn’t yet been able to personally meet those who rescued him, Caleb hopes he can soon.

“If it weren't for the helicopter, I don't believe I would have gotten out of there."

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