By Joshua L. Williams, Fire Chief
July 16, 2012

Gleneden Beach, July 15, 2012 – Depoe Bay Fire District saved two swimmers being pulled out to sea by a rip current in the waters just south of the Devil's Punch Bowl earlier this evening. The firefighters were responding to a report of two children between 10 and 12 years old being caught in a rip current.

One child made it to shore as the fire fighters arrived on scene. The child's father was already in the water attempting to swim to the other child who remained stranded on a rock outcropping. The child dismounted the rocks on his boogie board and the rip immediately began pulling him seaward. Firefighters immediately deployed the unmanned, remote-controlled water rescue craft known as EMILY (Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard). Both swimmers grabbed the rescue device and were pulled into shallow water where they were met by a fire fighter who helped them to shore. The swimmers were checked out by pacific West ambulance personnel and refused further treatment.

EMILY is the ideal rescue device for our dangerous surf conditions and our limited resources. This is the first EMILY rescue in Depoe Bay and one of the first worldwide.," according to Depoe Bay Fire Chief Joshua Williams. "She can be deployed quickly from the shoreline and—powered by an electric impeller similar to those used on jet skis—EMILY can travel 12 times as fast as a person, can make tight turns in choppy waters and can run for up to 20 minutes on a single battery charge. We are pleased that this recent addition to our arsenal of life saving tools has already proven her worth."

"We are also pleased that our new shift system allows us to respond immediately to emergencies like this one."

Depoe Bay Rural Protection Fire District covers fourteen miles of the central Oregon coast from the Siletz Keys south to Otter Rock. Career staff and volunteers provide fire protection, rescue and emergency medical services from three stations. For more information about the District and how to become a volunteer, visit the website ( or contact the office at the address or phone number below.

Joshua L. Williams, Fire Chief
6445 Gleneden Beach Loop Road
P O Box 280
Gleneden Beach, OR 97388
Telephone (541) 764-2202
Fax (541) 764-0902

Units: 2301, 2162
Mutual Aid: Pacific West Ambulance