Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sea Lion vs. Man

Just in from LACo veteran recurrent, Dave Clarke, who was the first responder on scene at the North Channel location of the sea lion attack on an elderly man this past Thursday evening, Aug. 25, 2011.


Subject: "Pay attention and look alive "Top Sail".........8/24/2011", by Dave Clarke

The day is closing, its 1920 hours. station detail has begun. Bino check the area up and down, reflecting on my average day at Top Sail for stat report. A jogger runs up and reports a woman attacked and bitten by a seal. Another bino check, I see a woman in pink sitting on the berm half way to North Channel with two bystanders.

After my call to the pier, I grab the med box and head out........... As I approach a clearly distressed woman in her 60s, seeing no visible wounds or blood. She lays into me with "where the hell were you while I was being attacked and nearly drowned"??!!!!!!!!

"Why aren't you out there saving him"???!!!!!!!! among other things, #@5$$&^**er.
I looked out and saw the old guy who swims almost every day in his usual flail style stoke. Nothing appears to be out of the ordinary. Moving down to assist him out of the surf line, he emerges from the white water and glare, blood flowing from his temples, an avulsion on his forehead. Not panicked not calling for help. I was stunned at the man's condition and calm demeanor and as I reached for his arm I noticed the web of his right hand had a puncture large enough for a # 2 pencil, and possible crushed carpals.

I bring him up to the berm and noticed more bite marks and holes in his wet suit. Unzip to examine: Bites to the right and left shoulders, Punctures to his back, ribs and lats. Holes and bites to his left hip. Holes and punctures on both arms. Probably 30 or more contusions. He was so LUCKY that bull sea lion didn't rip an artery or tear the groin or blind him with those brutal face and cranial attacks.

Tito 231 on scene with immediate purge and gauze pressure wrap applied. R200 call car rolls up for vitals and transport. Capt Horne on scene to secure and conclude.

This attack took place 100 ft. past the surf line in just a few minutes, to a man who swims regularly with and without his wife. This guy saved himself, and has my admiration. I saw no struggle, no sea lion, or any sign of injury, until he emerged.

34 summers of watching the water........Take nothing for granted in the ocean.

ALOHA........... DC


(Photo above shows LACo veteran recurrent lifeguard and doryman, Dave Clarke with his niece, celebrating his Central Section Taplin team's victory, Summer 2009. Photo by Will Maguire.)

Many thanks to Dave for sharing his experience about this unfortunate event.
A great example neverthless of the swift treatment of this citizen by LACo lifeguard personnel. 10-4.

Additional media coverage:,0,2140059.story

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Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

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