The rescue at
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.
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