Monday, December 15, 2008

El Porto Breaks Loose !

(Photo by Phil Navarro. Photo courtesy of Phil Navarro and Arthur Verge. Used here with permission).

The above photo by Rescue Boat Captain Phil Navarro shows Capt. Tom Seth on a LACo PWC (jetski) battling the ferocious surf pumping at El Porto some six years ago. This same photo is featured as the Calendar Photo in this year's December LACOLA Calendar.

Capt. Tom Seth provides the following remarks about that Epic Day at El Porto:

"That Photo was taken about 6 years ago so I may be a little foggy on the details but here is what I remember.

That was the year that we got some large swells early in the season that coincided with very high tides and really tore up the beach. We lost so much sand in El Porto that the waves were smashing up against the rocks at 45th ST. and we had to close the bike path.

The photo that Phil took was taken during PWC training. When the surf gets big and out of control we try to get the PWC in the water to train in the difficult conditions and occasionally make some rescues.

That wasn't the biggest day that I have trained in but it was the heaviest. The waves were breaking a mile out to sea on tanker reef and then reforming and detonating on a shallow sand bar about 200 yards off-shore. I remember dropping into a few waves that were dredging so hard on that sand bar that I was going below sea level in the barrel. It definitely got my heart going.

After training in those kinds of conditions routine rescues and events are a piece of cake.


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Capt. Phil Navarro also recalls the following about that Monster Surf Day at El Porto:

"It may have been Winter 2002 or early Spring 2003. If you know how to get EXIF information from digital photos, it should have the date and time when shot. Other than that, I was working in the Training Center at the time and I asked Tom to call me if he was doing any training in large surf. He called me that day and I got the shots. Tom also had a rescue that day of a surfer that was caught outside and gave him a ride back to the beach. I have those photos also. That's it. Not much more to tell.


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Many Thanks to both Tom and Phil for sharing this Amazing Day of Surf Lifesaving !

Below Sea Level And In The Barrel ! You gotta love it !

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