Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"It's A Wrap!"...

End of shift at approx. 1930 hrs at SMS Tower #22, Labor Day 2012 (Sept. 3rd).  Photo by & Copyright Will Maguire 2012.  All Rights Reserved.  Used here with permission.
Summer 2012 ended with a four day set of aquatic fireworks in Central and Northern Section, as previously discussed in the preceding blog post on the Southern Swell that began this past Friday, August 31st and was still grinding its way on shore on Labor Day.  One blitz rip erupted Labor Day evening at approx. 1700 hrs just south of SMS Tower #20 with 7 guards in the water retrieving up to 12 victims... on a one foot tide with sets still breaking in the 3' - 5' (wave face) range ... and not leaving any of us alot of room to duck and hide either.  As I mentioned to another guard last nite, there were 3 body boarders and the balance were swimmers caught up in this hoover vacuum cleaner sucking people toward Catalina feet first in 6 - 8 feet of water.  The guards in the water were as follows:

Kevin Williamson and Cadet Toby Contarsy from T-20 hit the water first, followed by Elle Quane and myself as we saw the rip the same time as the T-20 guards and we just took off running.  Next came Kevin Maxwell from T-24, then Lacie Beattie from T-25, followed by Cooper from T-18 and Brandon Snell from T-17!!! Fantastic instincts on the part of both Brandon and Lacie to evaluate the number of guards in the water vs. the number of victims and to make the correct decision to haul a** to the rip and swim out and help out.  At one point I looked around and saw each of these guards and our cadet in the water and I was so impressed and knew instinctively that we had some exceptional lifeguards working yesterday.  Brandon and I locked eyes at one point and grinned at each other.  Meanwhile, Baywatch Santa Monica rolled up and the deck hand was getting ready to help Elle out with her two victims (one body boarder and one swimmer) and she tells them, "I've got it!, and then proceeded to swim both of her victims into shore by herself. You can do that when you are an All American Water Polo Player and four year Varsity Water Polo Player at UCSB!  (Go Gauchos!... just sayin'.) 

On a personal note, it was a real blast working yesterday at SMS Tower 22 with OL Elle Quane, just graduated from UCSB with a degree in Sociology. Her family was on the beach and got to witness her make a great rescue out front of T-22 around 1 pm.  Elle was in the water multiple times during the day and ended up working a 10 hour shift!  Also helping out yesterday was LACo Cadet JG, Toby Contarsy, who is such a fun kid and very, very fast in the water and so very keen to the currents in the ocean.  At one point I used my binoculars to see who was on the deck in the light blue t-shirt and navy blue shorts and the large brimmed LACo hat but no red rescue can hanging.  Then this described person put up his hands mimicking binoculars and looking straight at me.  Then I noticed the yellow can and I put it together and raised both my arms!  The kid is sharp!  Hilarious moment during a day of much action.

So much to say about this past Summer 2012, now officially over with the passing of the annual rites of Labor Day nationwide.  What A Summer!  We will recount its highlights at a later point when we can walk without the aches and pains brought on by multiple incursions into the ocean during the past 3 days...   :-)

And here are few more from Labor Day Evening's developing sunset as we closed the tower along Santa Monica South at the end of shift.

 (All photos above by & Copyright Will Maguire 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

Last but not least, and this is a Very Special Treat!... we say goodbye to Summer 2012 and leave you with four Spectacular photos from Zuma during the sunset last nite, also on Labor Day, by OLS, Bob Janis (Ret.), including his remarks...
"Beautiful Zuma sunset, capping an awesome 3 day holiday weekend of big surf, rescues, prevents, etc."

"More sunset beauty at Zuma beach, wow what a way to end Summer 2012."

"The reward for an awesome summer 2012."

"How about the verga showers and lighting.
That's Leo Carrillo to the west."
 (The four (4) preceding Sunset Photos from Zuma are photos by & Copyright Bob Janis 2012. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.)

*** Thanks BJ!  ***


Until next time.....

Will Maguire, Editor
"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

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1 comment:

William Maguire said...

Just in from LACo OL Lacey Beattie: "It's Labor Day (2012) and the last day of schedules. It's a little slower than usual but then again I'm at SMS 25. Soon enough the witching hour approaches and things start to get hectic! I've just reunited missing child #5 when I see yet another little one running around looking for her parents. One problem: she's running away from me towards the back of the beach to the parking lots. I call the perm and I'm instructed to go catch this little one as the tower 24 double slides to my tower. She was quick but I finally grab her and slide to tower 24 for the time being.

I'm at 24, doubled now with Kevin Maxwell, for about 20 minutes keeping two missing children occupied. One of whom is crying, doesn't speak any english and is trying to escape! Finally the parents of both children come and voila-they're reunited!

Finally, we think we have a minute to breathe but boy are we mistaken! Kevin starts running to the north and I take a look and there is this monster rip in front of 22 with a ton of heads floating in it! There are already 2 guards in the water, tower 22 (Will Maguire and Elle Quane), tower 20 (Kevin Williamson) hits the water and so does Toby Contarsy-our cadet for the day (and at T-20 at the time of this rip)! Kevin is at the base of the rescue along with Toby making prevents before these bathers too become rescues. This rip is firing and there are too many heads in the water and not enough guards. Kevin and Toby decide to hit the water and so does Brandon Henry-Snell from tower 17. I've currently positioned myself at 22 and run up and take a closer view of the situation with a pair of binos. Each guard has 3-4 people on their can and there are still people on the outside in the head of the rip. Area 25 rolls up and that's when I decide to hit the water. I didn't feel comfortable hitting the water-it was one of those "well if I hit the water who is going to watch the water" situations along with "there are still people out there!." Now there's 7 guards in the water plus a cadet (17, 18, two 20 guards, two 22 guards, 24 and myself)! Each of us have at least 2 people on our cans and we make it all out of the water with our victims. I canned two and Toby swam back out to give me a helping hand. All of us exit the water with our victims and low and behold we're north of tower 20! Now I'm almost 4 towers north of where I'm supposed to be!

All 8 of us exit the water with an applause and standing ovation from patrons. It was amazing! Kevin Maxwell and I lightly jog back to our area and once again everyone went home safely! I've worked SMS for the last 5 summers and that was one of the biggest rips I've ever seen on our beach. It was the ABSOLUTE BEST way to end summer schedules! Biggest and craziest blitz rescue of the summer with the best teammates and lifeguard family one could ask for!"

*** Thanks Lacey! We really appreciate you sharing your remarks about this remarkable blitz rip & rescue.