The California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Division Air Operations unit, based at the Napa County Airport, operates four aircraft (two airplanes and two helicopters) which patrol approximately 6,923 square miles that incorporates a residential population of more than 7 million people. The helicopter is routinely staffed with a CHP Officer/Pilot and a CHP Officer/Paramedic. The airplane is staffed with a CHP Officer/Pilot and a CHP Officer/Flight Officer. Golden Gate Division Air Operations is available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.
Salt Point State Park, Sonoma County, CA – On July 23, 2015 at approximately 11:30 AM, personnel from the Sonoma County Fire Department requested CHP assistance for a boat rescue off Gerstle Cove at the Salt Point State Park. CHP Helicopter H-32 was on patrol in the area, and was able to respond within one minute of the call. Sonoma County Fire personnel reported the male victim was stranded in his inoperable boat within the rough surf along a rocky coastline. Prior to CHP arrival, a rescue swimmer from California State Parks was able to reach the boat and check on the man’s condition. Swells continued to strike the boat, preventing the rescue swimmer from paddling the boat to a safer location. CHP Helicopter Pilot Officer Ellison flew the helicopter to a position above the boat, where CHP Paramedic Officer Schmidt was able to lower a rescue collar to the boat approximately 75 feet below using the helicopter’s hoist. The victim was hoisted to the helicopter and evacuated to a nearby landing zone. There he was transferred to ground paramedic personnel for medical evaluation. The man was determined to be cold and tired, but otherwise uninjured.
CHP-Golden Gate Air Ops