Coast Guard Rescue Man Just As Giant Wave Capsizes Boat

US Coast Guard Pacific Northwest (USCGPacificNW) saved a man just as a giant wave capsized his boat in a dramatic rescue they caught on video from their rescue helicopter. The Coast Guard came to the aid of a boat caught in high swells off of Cape Disappointment on the Pacific Coast on Friday February 3, 2023 when Nature decided to make the rescue a whole lot harder.

The US Coast Guarded tweeted, “Talk about arriving in the nick of time!” They shared that they had been conducting a training mission at the mouth of the Columbia River when two Coast Guard air crews received a MayDay broadcast from the master of the P/C Sandpiper.

AET1 Kyle Turcotte / USCGPacificNW

Watchstanders at Sector Columbia River were notified and motor life boats were launched from STA Cape Disappointment. Air crews also arrived on the scene to see the vessel “floundering in the surf.”

AET1 Kyle Turcotte / USCGPacificNW

“The surf made rescue by boat dangerous, so the aircrew decided to lower the rescue swimmer and have the owner [of the boat] enter the water for rescue,” they continued in a tweet.

They shared a video clip of the skipper of the boat on the bow of his ship waiting for the coast guard swimmer to get to him. But just as the swimmer arrives at the bow of the boat a huge wave hits the boat and capsizes it!

Watch the video below to see the moment the wave rolls over the boat and the men:

The boat is completely flipped over by the surf and the men disappear from view.

AET1 Kyle Turcotte / USCGPacificNW

Thankfully, the swimmer managed to get to the man and save him! USCGPacificNW tweeted, “As he entered the water the vessel capsized but the rescue swimmer was able to safely recover the individual.”

The man was flown back to Coast Guard Base Astoria where EMS was waiting to evaluate and treat him.

AET1 Kyle Turcotte / USCGPacificNW

The Coast Guard shared a photo of the rescue team smiling after their successful rescue.

AET1 Kyle Turcotte / USCGPacificNW

They wrote, “All in all, it’s just another day for the Coast Guard men and women who spend their days Protecting the Pacific Northwest.”

In a bizarre twist to the dramatic rescue, it turns out the man, identified as Jericho Labonte, was wanted by Oregon police. According to KPTV, Labonte is suspected of leaving a dead fish on the porch of the house used in the film “The Goonies.” A man was filmed on surveillance video laying the fish on the porch and making a cell phone video of it before walking away. He was later identified as Labonte.

Police searched for Labonte for two days unsuccessfully. But two days later he was plucked from the water and images of him circulated.

Labonte was taken to hospital and released but was arrested later that day at the Seaside Helping Hands Warming Shelter where he was staying under an alias. Police said he’s wanted on charges of theft, endangering another person, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal mischief.

He’s also wanted by police in Canada for similar criminal warrants. Astoria police also have confirmed that the P/C Sandpiper was stolen out of the Port of Astoria!

Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links.