Duck hunter rescued by helicopter after spending night in waters near Alviso Marina
January 18, 2012
By Mark Gomez, MercuryNews.com
A 30-year-old duck hunter who was trapped in his boat overnight
was plucked Wednesday morning from the muddy waters near the Alviso
Marina by a helicopter.
The man was rescued at 4:36 a.m. when a Calstar helicopter landed
in a marsh area, according to San Jose fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez.
The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital after spending the
night in freezing conditions.
Authorities did not identify the man, a war veteran who served in
Afghanistan. He had spent Tuesday hunting and fishing in a small
fiberglass motor boat, according to fire officials. When he did not
return home, his family grew concerned and called police at about 9
p.m., according to fire Capt. Anthony Melendez.
Police located the man's vehicle in the Alviso Marina County Park
parking lot and then called for a search and rescue party.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office sent its helicopter to
help in the search. However, the helicopter had mechanical issues
and returned to its base at Moffett Field. A U.S. Coast Guard
helicopter was then called in and after about a one-hour search also
suffered mechanical trouble.
At that point search and rescue officials called Calstar, a
private company, use one of its helicopter in the search.
The Calstar helicopter spotted the man about 3 1/2 miles from the
marina and landed in a muddy marsh area, Melendez said. The man
walked through knee-deep mud to the helicopter and was taken to the
parking lot, where an ambulance was waiting.
The man had a poncho but otherwise was not wearing a lot of warm
clothing, Melendez said. Overnight temperatures dropped to 34
"It was like finding a needle in a haystack," Melendrez said. "He
had no flares. He had nothing with him. He was fortunate that it
ended with good news."
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