Friday, March 5, 2010

Black's Beach Surf Rescue: First Person P.O.V. Report, by Ed Vodrazka

Readers will recall our post of yesterday afternoon wherein we shared with you the March 3rd off duty rescue by LACo OLS Dylan Jones and two other surfers of an unconscious surfer found inside the impact zone at Black's Beach that morning.

The following report was written up by
the first State Beach Lifeguard to respond to this emergency. That Guard is noneother than LACo's very own (also) Recurrent, Ed Vodrazka. It is an exceptional and thrilling report to read and Ed has given us permission today to reprint it here. Buckle your seat belts, folks!

From: (Ed Vodrazka)
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 9:38 AM
To: Frazer, Mike
Subject: Urgent - Dylan Jones

Chief Frazier,

This morning was beautiful.
The surf was clean and well overhead, and from my house at Torrey, I knew that Black’s was pumping and that the surf crew in the line up would be limited to the big wave regulars.

At approximately 7:40 (3-3-2010), I received an emergency call from the City Lifeguards stating that there was a CPR in progress at Black’s. Budget cuts had necessitated pulling City Lifeguards from the beach which they share with State Lifeguards, thus no lifeguards were on scene. I responded Code-3 from Torrey not knowing what to expect.

Chris Ryan
, a veteran surfer and popular local at Blacks’ was seen taking off on a large wave…he pulled into a massive tube, was covered up and did not surface. He was held down for at least a second wave, and possibly more. A local surfer named Philippe Duhaime was paddling out inside of Ryan and witnessed the event happen. Eventually Ryan floated up, still attached to his board. He was face down and lifeless.

Duhaime struggled to hold Ryan up while he yelled for help to the pack outside. As fate would have it, LA County Lifeguard / Medic (and Black’s local) Dylan Jones was in the pack and heard the call. Jones took off on the next wave from the outside, expertly surfed it where Duhaime was holding Ryan and grabbed hold of the patient. Jones’ skills as a waterman allowed him to load the 180 pound unconscious patient on his 7’0 single fin and paddle him to shore. Jones’ skill in the water was likely the single greatest element to saving Ryan’s life, as only 3-4 minutes passed before the patient was on shore and being worked up.

Ryan’s fate was further blessed
when an off-duty physician and fellow surfer (Dr. Mark Barcker) arrived to assist. Barcker and Jones began working on Ryan immediately. Ryan was completely lifeless; skin purple, apneic, pulseless, with blown pupils. The men had no AED, no resuscitator, no BVM nor pocket mask. A small crowd of locals watched in disbelief as their friend lay lifeless on the sand….apparently dead.

Although Ryan’s fate may have been to die this morning, he had no idea that he would have a “dream team” on scene to reverse that fate. Jones and Barcker worked together flawlessly. Jones, a recent graduate Paramedic took over airway management while the doctor assumed compressions. The doctor admitted that he needed an impromptu refresher on CPR compressions, which Jones gave him, then the team worked efficiently to save Ryan’s life.

Shortly after CPR was begun, Ryan’s pupils began to respond.
Soon after, he regained a pulse and then regained spontaneous respirations. Medics arrived several minutes later, but by that time, the patient was already conscious and was answering questions.

Ryan had aspirated a considerable amount of salt water, and his fate (although encouraging) is still unknown. I’m writing this narrative only 2 hours after Ryan went down. There is little doubt in my mind that the efforts of Jones and Barcker saved Ryan’s life this morning and that had they not been there, it is doubtful that anyone else on scene would have been able to successfully orchestrate the rescue effort.

Imagine my surprise, when I pulled onto the scene and I see the patient, reported as pulseless and apneic, now sitting up and talking. I was even more surprised to see the jubilant face of our good friend, fellow LA County Lifeguard Dylan Jones on scene.

The SD City Lifeguards, the State Lifeguards, and the SD City Paramedics were thoroughly impressed with the efforts of these men today. My pride as an EMT Instructor and an LA County Lifeguard could not be more full. I’m certain that the City Lifeguards will further (and more formally) acknowledge the efforts of Dylan Jones…I just wanted to get the first word out to you guys. In short, I wanted you to hear it from me first.


Ed Vodrazka
Lieutenant Peace Officer
California State Lifeguards (Torrey Pines)
LA County Lifeguards

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Ed: Thank you very much for allowing us to reprint this amazing report that you wrote of this recent surf rescue at Black's Beach! We really appreciate it.

(note: The above "Black's Beach Surf Rescue: First Person P.O.V. Report (aka, 03.03.2010 Rescue Report: Written by Ed Vodrazka) has been reprinted here with permission. Reproduction and reprinting of this article without permission is prohibited.)

Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

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joel77st said...


Unknown said...

So proud of Dylan. Off duty, on duty, or on vacation, Dylan helps anyone in need. That's the kind of man he is. If he is up for a Metal of Valor, it will be #2. His family is extremely proud of him.

Denim Dan said...

It's great that these people were there to help recusitate him. It's possible that next time they may not be there. Maybe we need to look into different options for budget cuts(both state and county) instead of getting rid of the lifegaurds that, as you can see, are a great asset to our touristy town. I think it's a great idea to get rid of those expensive golf coarses all around San Diego. I would like to know how much of our taxes go into the maintenance of these institutions. Budget cuts for golf coarses ? Oh, of coarse not. Rich white people are the ones who need the golf coarses and they make the decisions and rules.

Anonymous said...

every once in a while you hear a story that returns your faith in the basic goodness of humanity... good on ya