WARRENTON, Ore. – Coast Guard rescued a sailor from his sailboat, which was beset by weather more than 14 miles off shore of Tillamook Harbor Saturday.

The crew of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescued the skipper of the 40-foot long sailboat, The Rock, and safely transferred him to Coast Guard Air Station Astoria.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a call for assistance from the Duane Jones, an Oak Harbor, Wash., resident and the skipper of the sailboat, stating he was experiencing severe weather off the Oregon Coast.

Due to the Tillamook Harbor Bar being closed to all recreational boat traffic and with the onset of night, Jones did not feel safe staying on his boat and asked to be rescued.

The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene with the sailboat and safely hoisted Jones from his boat.

“This is our first major storm of the fall and we want to make sure that all boaters are prepared for the weather,” said Petty Officer 1st Class William Whitford, an operations specialist at Sector Columbia River. “This guy did the right thing in letting us know that he was experiencing difficulties and then asking for help when things got beyond his control. All boaters need to be prepared for any possibilities, including having the proper radio equipment on board to call for help if needed.”

As weather permits, Air Station Astoria crews are planning a future flight to find the abandoned vessel and ascertain its condition. Any salvage of the vessel will be the owner’s responsibility.

There were no injuries in this rescue. The National Weather Service has issued storm warnings for the Oregon and Washington coasts, for more information about these warnings, please visit: http://www.weather.gov/

For safe boating information, please visit: http://www.uscgboating.org/

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