On Feb. 27, 2019, at about 8:20 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 800 block of Sage Road in Ferndale for the report of an adult male victim overtaken by flood waters and three subjects trapped inside a tractor.
The reporting party told dispatchers that at about 7 p.m., the male victim attempted to walk to his residence from a nearby barn through approximately 4 to 5 feet of flood waters when he became distressed by the fast-moving current. Two adult subjects and one juvenile attempted to rescue the victim by driving a tractor through the flood waters. The tractor stalled due to the high water prior to the subjects reaching the victim. The subjects lost sight of the victim while attempting to rescue him. Deputies also learned that three additional juveniles were trapped inside of the residence due to flood waters surrounding the home.
The Sheriff’s Marine Unit, Special Services Unit, Search and Rescue Posse and the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department arrived to conduct a search and rescue for the subjects. A Sheriff’s Marine deputy and a Search and Rescue Posse member were able to reach the trapped subjects on the tractor utilizing an airboat. The three subjects on the tractor were rescued and transported to a safe location. The three juveniles inside the residence were also rescued and transported to a safe location.
A United States Coast Guard helicopter assisted Sheriff’s deputies and posse members in searching for the outstanding male victim. Due to dangerous conditions, the search was suspended just before 11 p.m.
Sheriff’s deputies resumed the search early this morning, February 28, and located the male victim deceased.
The name of the deceased is being withheld at this time and will be released by the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office following all next-of-kin notification.