Watch US coastguard rescue man thrown overboard by 20ft wave

The US Coast Guard has saved a stranded mariner, after a yacht was capsized by a 20-foot wave.

The Coast Guard, which operates as part of the US military, responded to a mayday call from the mouth of Columbia River in Washington.

A motor lifeboat and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew were sent to a location, which was determined using radio tower triangulation.

Once on the scene, and learning the boat was taking on water, a rescue swimmer swam towards the vessel.

As the swimmer approached the 35-foot yacht, a breaking wave capsized the boat - throwing the mariner from it.

He was recovered and had only suffered minor injuries.

Once the mariner was released from medical care, the Coast Guard were notified that the individual was suspected to have stolen the yacht. 

The rescue swimmer, Aviation Survival Technician 3rd Class John "Branch" Walton, was a trainee at the Advanced Rescue Helicopter School and graduated just hours after the incident. 

The rescue was his first save.


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