Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Curry County Marine Patrol Honored for Life Saving Efforts on the Chetco River
For Immediate Release- 10/03/2011
Marine Board Chair, George Tinker (Coos Bay), Deputy Walter Scherbarth, Lt. John Ward, Deputy Ted Heath, and Marine Board Director, Scott Brewen.The Oregon State Marine Board recognized the life-saving efforts of Reserve Deputy Joe Martin, Deputies Walter Scherbarth, Ted Heath and Lt. John Ward, at their annual post-season Law Enforcement Conference, held on Monday, September 26 in Eugene. 
It was December 21, 2010 in the early evening when the Curry County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Loeb Park on the Chetco River near Brookings.  Two subjects were stranded and unable to get safely back across the river due to extremely high water conditions and near darkness.  Lt. John Ward and Marine Reserve Deputy Joe Martin arrived by patrol boat from Gold Beach and Deputy Scherbarth and Deputy Heath arrived at Loeb Park.  There they found one of the victims had made it back across the swollen Chetco River in a small, mostly deflated Seyvlor raft.  The other victim was spotted almost an hour later using spotlights from the patrol boat, where all four officers teamed up to navigate the swollen river.  The victim was hypothermic, but otherwise safe. 
“Deputy Sherbarth, Deputy Heath, Reserve Deputy Joe Martin and Lt. John Ward put themselves in extremely hazardous conditions to rescue these men,” said Marty Law, Boating Safety Manager for the Marine Board.  “Thanks to their efforts, both men are alive today.”