Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Josh Williams Extreme NorCal Rescue", by Tom Seth

Just in from LACo Lifeguard Captain Tom Seth!

"Josh Williams' Extreme Rescue" by Tom Seth

"I am writing to let you know of an extreme rescue that occurred in October 2009.

At about 7:30 am, on Saturday October 31st, off-duty LACo Ocean Lifeguard Joshua Williams paddled out for a surf at the south end of Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

The surf was 12 feet and the wind was blowing off shore by 10 mph creating perfect but dangerous conditions. The only problem was the dense fog allowed only 50 yards of visibility.

Joshua entered the water, battled the relentless over-head shore break, and paddled through the deep water rip current area to the barreling peaks on the outside. He caught a couple waves and had not seen another surfer but as he sat on his board waiting for another wave he thought he heard a distressed voice coming from much further outside. Joshua paddled toward the voice and soon realized that it was a desperate cry for help. As it happened, another surfer had paddled out and as soon as he got to the outside break he was caught by a set. A number of waves broke on his head with one of them snapping his leash and sending his surfboard to the beach. The surfer was then pulled further off shore by a rip current and the hard offshore wind.

When Joshua reached the victim he was a quarter mile off shore in a state of panic, he had swallowed some water and was having trouble keeping himself above water. Joshua pulled the man up onto his surfboard to rest and calmed him down for about 10 minutes. Luckily by this time the fog had started to lift and they had close to a quarter mile visibility. Joshua pulled the victim in to just outside the surfline and waited for a big set to pass. He timed it perfectly, paddling hard for shore with the victim holding on to his feet and made it through the break before the next set. He muscled through the rip current and again timed the shore break perfectly between sets. A couple of surfers realized what was happening and met Josh in waist deep water to help. On the beach Joshua received a hero’s welcome by a large group of beachgoers that had found the victims surfboard at the shore line and feared the worst.

The following letter was sent to Surfline.com by the victim and published as the letter of the week.

Letter of the Week: A BIG thanks to 'Josh' for helping me out this weekend at Sloat in SF. On a big OH/DOH day, my leash snapped. I took a couple on the head and started to take on water. I was a little panicked and started looking for help. A bro by the name of Josh swam over to calm me down and help me back to the shore. I just want to send him a HUGE thanks and a big debt of gratitude. A little humbling to be put in such a position, however, I'm glad he was there to lend a helping hand. Thanks, Josh for bringing me back to the shore and pulling me out of the pit! Scott from SF


Many Thanks to LACo Lifeguard Capt. Tom Seth for sharing this story of Josh Williams extreme rescue in the waters off San Francisco. And a Huge Shout Out of Kudos, Props & Way to Kick A** off duty and save a life by LACo Recurrent Lifeguard-Paddler-Surfer, Joshua Williams.

(Photo above shows Josh Williams, front and center, seated and wearing a green sweatshirt and hoisting twin victory hand signs. Summer 2009 Venice First Place Intracrew Team. Photo by & Copyright Will Maguire.)

(Photo above shows Tom Seth, at right, with fellow lifeguard-competitor, Mel Solberg, June 2011 at Torrance Beach at the Annual Jimmy Miller Foundation Lifeguard Competition. Photo by & Copyright Will Maguire 2011.)


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News


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