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The rescue at Shelter Cove

From the Redwood Record in Garberville, California, 1971:

     Seventeen persons perished Sunday evening when a twin-engine DC-3 airliner with 24 persons aboard crashed into off shore rocks when it attempted to take off from Shelter Cove Airport.

     Seven persons survived. the bodies of 11 victims have been recovered.  Efforts to recover the bodies of the remaining six have been hampered by rough surf.

     According to eye witness accounts the DC-3 never did get airborne as it attempted a takeoff to the north. After leaving the end of the runway, the plane dropped below the runway level, sheared off the top of the sewage disposal plant, disappeared below a vertical bluff and crashed into offshore rocks, in a pounding surf.

From  Gem of the Lost Coast, A Narrative History of Shelter Cove, by Mario Machi:

     John Figueiredo, on a commercial boat, was alerted and he joined the rescue attempt.....Upon reaching the crash site, debris was scattered over the water and bodies could be seen floating on the surface.

From another fisherman who was there:

     The Sea Valley was one of the few steel boats at that time. Most of the boats that were attempting to rescue the survivors or recover the bodies of the dead, were wood. The wood boats could not get close enough to help as they would have been smashed to bits on the rocks and the rough surf. Mr. John Figueiredo took a chance, saving at least one and recovering two.




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