Members of the Quileuete Nation played a vital role in saving helicopter crash victims.
“When a Coast Guard helicopter carrying four crew members slammed into the water near the mouth of the Quillayute River on Wednesday, five Quileute fishermen were first on the scene.
The fishermen — Levi Black, Jim Williams, Mark Williams, Charles Sampson and Darryl Penn — jumped into two skiffs and headed straight for the helicopter as soon as they heard the aircraft go down.
They pulled two men who showed few to no vital signs out of the water.
At shore, tribal members performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation while waiting for medics to arrive.
“They are some very brave people,” said Tribal Chairwoman Anna Rose Counsell-Geyer.
For Penn, who is the Quileute Marina harbormaster, it was simply about helping those who have always been their for the fishermen.
“You don’t think, ‘Do I go or not’ — you just go,” Penn said.
“They are always here for us.”