EMILY USV saves four swimmers at Oregon beach

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The Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard (EMILY) USV was recently used to rescue four swimmers from the ocean at Rockaway Beach in Oregon, according to KGW.com.

After training with the USV for about a year, the Rockaway Fire Department deployed EMILY for the first time on Monday, July 8, to save two young boys and their family members that tried to rescue them.  

“Being a volunteer department, we don't always have the trained personnel available at any given time to send a crew out into the water on a jet ski, so we have to have a different option,” explains Rockaway Fire Department chief Shawn Vincent. EMILY proved to be a more than sufficient option in this instance.

A rip current pulled the two boys about 100 yards out to sea. An uncle jumped into a raft to try to get to them, but it capsized, leaving him and several life jackets in the water. Bridgette Gustin, the aunt of one of the boys, then swam out and managed to get the life jackets around the boys, but she was unable to get them back to shore.

EMILY was first sent out to save the uncle. It was then sent out again to retrieve Gustin and the two boys.

“That is a life saver, like right there, I think every beach needs to have that,” Gustin says.

While the boys swallowed a lot of water and had hypothermia, they are said to be doing great now.