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Photos: Deputies rescue man who became stranded on rock due to high tide

Deputy Lucero and Sergeant Ortega swam out to the man, eventually reaching him despite the violent surf

By Sarah Calams

DEL NORTE, Calif. — Several deputies are being hailed as heroes after saving a man who became stranded on a rock due to high tide.

On Sunday, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office received reports of an individual becoming trapped on a rock near White Rock Resort in Smith River, according to The Del Norte Triplicate. Witnesses said the man, who had been stuck for several hours, was periodically getting knocked off the rock by the surf.

“The rock was surrounded by several other wash rocks creating a very dangerous environment if the subject was forced off,” the department wrote on Facebook.

Deputy Lucero and Sergeant Ortega swam out to the man, eventually reaching him on the rock.

“After several minutes of fighting the surf, they were able to reach the subject and swim him back to shore,” the department continued.

The man was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

“Without their prompt rescue, the stranded individual would have certainly been washed off the rock and been significantly injured or perished in the surf,” the department said.

Sheriff Erik Apperson thanked the deputies for their heroic efforts: “I am never short of amazed by how quickly DNSO staff coordinates and responds. This event serves as a reminder that we are here and willing to do what needs to be done so that our communities are safe. All of the deputies and support staff that coordinated and participated in this response are heroes. I would like to especially recognize Sergeant Ortega and Deputy Lucero for their efforts. The ocean is a dangerous, unforgiving and unpredictable environment. They put themselves in harm’s way so that another person may continue to live. They are the definition of selfless and exemplary first responders.”