Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Coast Guard Rescues Woman From 48 Degree Water

This time of year, the water off the Oregon Coast is as cold as it gets.
When 19-year-old Kortney Franks slipped off the rocks at Cape Arago State Park on Sunday night, the tide was on its way out. Franks was sucked six football fields from shore, in 48-degree water. The U.S. Coast Guard sent out boats and a helicopter in search of the girl as soon as someone called to report it, about 7:20 p.m., and the rescuers could still hear her cries for help. But it was dark, and Franks was bobbing between 8-foot breakers. When the Helicoptor crew located Franks, minutes after they set out, she was more than 600 yards from shore and hypothermia was setting in. A Rescue Swimmer dropped into the water, grabbed Franks and placed her in a basket. "She was extremely lucky," said Kevin St. Pierre, who manages search and rescue operations at Coast Guard Station North Bend. Franks was treated at Bay Area Hospital for hypothermia and cuts and bruises. She couldn't be reached for comment.

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