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Woman Who Accidentally Swallowed Antifreeze Rescued off Bodega Bay

A 23-year-old woman was rescued from a sailboat west of Bodega Bay at around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, after she had accidentally swallowed antifreeze the previous afternoon.

Cibola off Bodega Bay
The captain of the sailboat Cibola had reported the incident to 11th Coast Guard District Command Center watchstanders at approximately 1:45 p.m. Monday.
© 2021 U.S. Coast Guard District 11

US Coast Guard and San Francisco Fire Department personnel worked together in what USCG’s 11th District search mission coordinator, Douglas Samp, described as “… a highly complex medical evacuation performed at night, off a small sailboat, hundreds of miles offshore that tested the limits of our crews and equipment.”

The rescue operation played out as per the following Coast Guard report:

“Due to the distance off shore and range limitations of Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco’s MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, watchstanders directed the forward deployment of a Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to Air Station San Francisco. Additionally, the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) was diverted to serve as a refueling platform for the Jayhawk helicopter.

“The Sector San Diego Jayhawk helicopter arrived at Air Station San Francisco at approximately 9 p.m. Monday. The helicopter was refueled, crews were changed and a San Francisco Fire Department paramedic boarded before departing on the medevac mission.

“A Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 Spartan aircrew launched around 9:55 p.m. Monday to provide cover for the Jayhawk crew throughout the mission and rendezvoused with the Jayhawk before both crews headed offshore.

“The Jayhawk crew landed on the Midgett to refuel approximately 230 miles west of San Francisco around 11:45 p.m. and then proceeded toward the Cibola.

“The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene with the Cibola around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday and lowered the rescue swimmer to assess the situation.

“The rescue swimmer assisted in hoisting the woman into the helicopter and once the rescue swimmer was retrieved, the helicopter crew headed back to the Midgett.”

The following video was provided courtesy of US Coast Guard District 11.

“The San Francisco Fire Department paramedic’s assistance was vital to saving the sailor’s life as he assisted the Coast Guard rescue swimmer to stabilize and care for her during the four-hour transit back to San Francisco,” Samp said. “The sailor’s life was saved by the dedicated teamwork of the San Francisco Fire Department and Coast Guard personnel across eight different units.”

Woman rescued
At the conclusion of the rescue operation the stricken woman was transferred to a waiting EMS in a stable condition and transported to Zuckerburg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
© 2021 U.S. Coast Guard District 11

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the unnamed woman and her father were approximately 380 miles off Bodega Bay, several days into a voyage from Astoria, Oregon, to Hawaii, when the rescue took place.


  1. Arthur Gottschalk 3 years ago

    Great rescue job. What kind of boat is that? Length?

  2. Bernard Portet 3 years ago

    Bravo to all EMT’s involved. Thank you!

  3. Joseph DiMatteo 3 years ago

    Wow, how does something like this happen? Please report the findings just in case there is something to be learned here. Good on the USCG but…

  4. Jan Orena Ryan 3 years ago

    And how does anyone accidentally swallow antifreeze?

  5. Kevin 3 years ago

    We gotta find out how she swallowed the anti-freeze…

  6. Gus 3 years ago

    How in the world do you “accidentally” swallow anti-freeze.

    Hats off to all the people who were involved in her rescue. That was an incredibly challenging task!

  7. Judith Krowley 3 years ago

    Amazing coordination of the mission, and rescue! What heros! But as others expressed, how did this occur? Please let readers know circumstances. Outcome could be grim.

  8. Sherri 3 years ago

    Amazing efforts by all rescue teams involved! How does one swallow antifreeze by mistake? A costly mistake.. however am glad the victim survived. She is very lucky to have been saved….

  9. Heartland Honey 3 years ago

    Kudos to the Coast Guard for this rescue, but how does someone 23-years old “accidentally” swallow anti-freeze? I hope if/when she recovers they send her for mandatory counseling.

    • Steamboat Willie 3 years ago

      Why would you advise her to have “Mandatory Counseling”?

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