Monday, April 09, 2007

Lucky


W WIND 20 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 6 FT. W SWELL 10 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
I have a friend that lives on the Oregon coast...well, I actually have a few. But this one friend, he surfs alot...well, most of them surf alot...alot more than me anyway...but he gets more surf than most, in any case. I get out pretty often, but work, family and distance often conspire to keep my water time at about once or twice a week...sometimes more, somtimes less.
I heard through the grapevine that this friend saved a couple beginners yesterday off a prominent cape on the central coast. This wasn't the first time he's done so and it certainly won't be the last...but the bottom line is that these two were extremely fortunate that this person was present and able to help them. Luther Johnston, who died in the waters off Yaquina head last week, wasn't as lucky...he had friends who were trying to help him, but he died despite their efforts.
I wasn't there, and there may be other points in this matter that surface in time...but two kids decided to go surfing without really understanding the situation, conditions or their own abilities. A river of a side shore swept them north into a headland rip that they either couldn't, or didn't understand how to, paddle out of. The rip took them far enough out that they were swept around the cape into the area depicted in the photo. Again, I wasn't there...but I'd assess the photo as a small day...so I presume there was a bit more water moving out there as these kids bobbed around like corks wondering if "surfing" was such a good idea after all.
Well, long story short...the Coast Guard was called and en route...and my friend went out after them and paddled them all the way around the cape to the safety of the north beach. Paddling the cape is something that he does on occassion, but I doubt that this would have been one of the days he'd have selected to do so. But they're lucky that he surfs almost everyday it's surfable, that he paddles when it's small, that he was willing to put his own safety aside to help them, and that he had the ability and conditioning to get the job done.
This was a story with a happy ending...there are many stories where the ending isn't as positive. And there will surely be many more unhappy endings for people who don't properly assess their own abilities and surroundings...and who aren't so lucky to have my friend there to help them.
You did good, my friend...

11 comments:

nmm said...

nice work ding...

Dub Resurrected said...

I wonder when there will be State life guards at this particular local? I figure it's only a matter of time with all the growth that's going on there. I also think we will see more people getting in over thier heads as surfing just gets more popular on a pretty un-user-friendly coast. Really I don't teach people how to surf anymore and wish they would take your wise advice Doc "If you don't surf, don't start" I've always loved that!

Foulweather... said...

Were they surfers? He paddled them around to the north side? Sean is nails and pulls a mean Stella Artois also....

Doc said...

I've pulled a couple out of rips there and other spots...I consider myself fortunate I've never had to deal with anything too heavy...

a surf report said...

seems like every other week, either sean, bates, or scott are pulling someone out of that ocean...good work sean. But what we've never addressed is this--- who the hell thinks they can get into a tumultous ocean like that when they're a newbie? Even when I didn't know crap about the ocean, I knew that I didn't know crap about it and didn't fuck with it. Who are these crazy people?

Jgirl said...

People dont just automatically know what they cant see Stiv. From the beach it can all look so simple and easy.People who are not experienced with the dynamics and the mechanical works of the ocean dont recognize the pushing and pulling of rips and currents. They see waves crashing in. They think their hardest work is going to be paddleing out against it to the position where they will wait for the ride and then they think how easy it will be to get back in. Its good that we have people in the water like Sean who feel a responsibility toward the lesser experienced. Proud of him. And proud of you for propping him Doc.

indytrucker said...

Did dingdong mention how the waves were on the north side of the cape?

just curious.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was one of 3 college students who tried to surf on Easter. Perhaps you know of or are the one who rescued the two males. I do not know the people she was with but my daughter Lyndsie was able to get back to shore. She was so worried about the boys but I wonder if they were worried about her. I am a grateful mother who wants to know who to thank.
tj56@comcast.net please email

Anonymous said...

Yes it was my daughter who waited on shore while Sean paddled out. She said she knew his name was Sean. I am reading the blogs and realize that she could not see the boys. Thankfully she had the sense to paddle back. Please know I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
email me at tj56@comcast.net

Sean SooLoo said...

Thank you all for the comments. Just another day at the beach!
I have to mention the help I had. Scott on the Cape communicating with the CG and myself while in the water. Gary coming in at McPhillips to assist in getting them between the rocks and to shore. It was a huge relief to see his ugly face at a very critical time. Propers Gary. And to the fire and rescue ready to assist at the shore. Finally thanks to the CG for always being there. Even if they are a little late, they are always there.

Sean

Ding said...

BTW the picture you posted is exactly where those boys were when they were pulled to deep (safe) water.