On 02-16-2015 at about 3:10 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a cellular telephone call, regarding a boating accident on the Trinity River near Sugar Bowl Ranch, Willow Creek. It was reported a boat which launched at the rodeo grounds, Hoopa had overturned on the Trinity River near the Sugar Bowl Ranch and sank. The boat contained 4 victims, two males ages 56 and 25 along with two females ages 47 and 65.
One of the male victims age 25 was able to climb up the cliff from the river to call for help for the other (3) three victims. The other (3) three victims, became stuck on a cliff about 100 feet above the river. They were unable to climb down or up from the cliff, because of the rugged terrain.
Emergency personnel consisting of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, United States Forest Service and members of the Salyer volunteer Fire Department immediately responded to the scene. Once the emergency personnel were on scene it was determined the best course of rescue would be a helicopter.
A CHP helicopter from Redding then responded to the scene. A CHP helicopter pilot utilized a rescue officer, who was attached to the helicopter by a rope. The rescue officer was lowered to the victims on the cliff by the helicopter. The rescue officer was able to place a harness on each victim. Each victim was then separately lifted to safety by the helicopter.
The victims were treated for any possible injuries by an ambulance which was staged at the Willow Creek airport. The victim’s only received small cuts, bruising and slight hypothermia from their ordeal. The victims did not need hospitalization for their injuries.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Mike Downey, Sheriff