Off-Duty Coast Guardsman Saves Two Boys Swept Away In Surf Off Oregon Coast

Tara West - Author

Feb. 20 2017, Updated 10:48 p.m. ET

An off-duty Coast Guardsman was walking along the North Jetty beach in Florence, Oregon, when he heard a woman screaming for help. Two boys had been swept away in the surf and were being pulled away from the shoreline. The Coast Guardsman, Dana Gagliardi, immediately sprang into action and jumped into the surf to make a rescue. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard station was alerted, which deployed a rescue helicopter and life boat. Fortunately, the rescue equipment was not needed as Gagliardi was able to bring the boys back to safety without assistance.

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Oregon Live reports two young boys were playing at the North Jetty Beach in Florence, Oregon, when they were swept out by the tide. The mother of the children was on the beach when she was alerted by the boys’ father that they had been swept out to sea. The woman immediately began screaming hysterically for help, and Gagliardi looked out into the surf and saw the two children.

Dana Gagliardi is a firefighter and member of the Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River. Seeing the two boys struggling in the surf, Gagliardi wasted no time jumping into the water to make a rescue. Speaking about the rescue, Gagliardi notes that one boy grabbed his back and held on as the second child was coached back to shore.

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“After fighting through the breaking surf, I reached one of the young boys. He grabbed a hold of my back and I swam back to shore. The other young boy was able to swim back to shore safely with my help.”

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Others on the beach called for help, as Gagliardi attempted to bring the boys back to shore. As a result of the calls for help, the U.S. Coast Guard sent a rescue helicopter along with a life boat to assist. Fortunately, the rescue team was not needed as Gagliardi was able to get the boys back to shore without assistance.

Scenes from the beach show that the fire department responded to the call and was able to provide medical assistance to the children after Gagliardi got them safely back to the beach. Photos of the Siuslaw Fire Department’s beach response team at North Jetty show the rescue efforts.

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The initial report by Oregon Live outlines that the incident took place on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Reports from the incident indicate that it took approximately 15 minutes for Gagliardi to get the boys back to shore from the time he jumped into the icy waters. The Coast Guardsman jumped into the water around 4:30 p.m and had the boys back to safety at 4:44 p.m, when the fire department waited to offer medical assistance.

Following the horrifying ordeal, the boys were taken by EMS for medical evaluation and treatment. The medical condition of the boys has not been released. However, images from the scene show the boys walking and appearing to be unharmed physically.

Dana Gagliardi, the hero Coast Guardsman who saved the young boys, is originally from Massachusetts and had only recently joined the Coast Guard. Gagliardi joined the Coast Guard in September 2015. He was ultimately stationed at the Siuslaw River station in December 2015.

The U.S. Coast Guard proudly released a statement about Gagliardi’s heroic efforts, noting that the Coast Guardsman was simply doing his duty of serving his country.

What do you think of the heroic Coast Guardsman’s response to the situation at the North Jetty Beach?

[Image via U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Siuslaw River]


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