Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Dave Clarke Five... Rescues, that is! Lots of Stingrays too!...

Central Section Lifeguard Headquarters (aka, SMHQ)

We were also toying with the idea of calling this blog post, "Banker's Hours", since I rolled into SMHQ around 10 a.m. this morning to do a couple of buoy swims and some running "off duty"... before heading into the office.  But then I went for a walk and a swim...

And so I got suited up and exited SMHQ and sauntered on over to SMS Tower #16 to say hello to the guard who was busily opening up his tower and setting up his flags and signs...  when I observed a classic, gnarly and visually active long rip off of SMS Tower #18... albeit, with no one in it... but it got me thinking that I should hurry up and run over to SMS Tower #17 and run up the ramp to get a good angle so as to take a photo of it.  Meanwhile, I had reached Tower #16 and I looked up and the guard was not in the tower and so I looked toward the pier and did not see him setting up the flags and signs either (as I'd noticed a minute or so earlier), so I swept my eyes to the Tower #18 rip when all of a sudden I noticed the guard out front and just south of Tower #16 in about chest deep water helping two body boarders caught up in the inshore holes and a rip feeding therefrom.   I stripped off my hat, sunglasses, t-shirt and towel and ran out to assist Veteran OL Dave Clarke who had already helped one swimmer to shallow water apparently and had just pushed in one of the body boarders into a wave and into shallower water and then proceeded to go back for the final and third victim/body boarder.  I was able to help the body boarder closer in to shore and Dave followed right behind with the other boarder.  True story!  And so then we chatted for a bit and I took a couple more photos and shot a short video of Dave making a double prevention as I was leaving.... see said Video below.  And yes, that was three (3) rescues and we can count... so keep reading.

OL Dave Clarke watching the water and wearing his LACo hoodie to block the sun.

Don't forget to wear sunscreen. This is Dave's preferred brand.

OL Dave Clarke initiating a double prevention.

OL Dave Clarke in motion and fleet of foot to get closer to effect his preventions.

*** Double Prevention: The Video

OL Dave Clarke, watching the water, and hooded up to block the sun.

Another prevention in progress...

And then I swam out to the buoy out front of SMS Tower #16 and then started running and walking to SMS Tower #26 to swim that buoy as well.

OLS Pat O'Neill, below, at SMS Tower #26 who said that working this spring with not enough guards has kept him and the rest of the available staff on their toes and kept them fit.  And with lots of inshore holes, strong surf and rips... this will get you in shape quickly.

*** Stingray Alert! ***   Pat also said that there have been alot of stingrays observed in the shallow water along Santa Monica South and quite a few stingray injuries to beach patrons recently.  The "Stingray Shuffle" is, therefore, advisable.  Shuffle your feet side to side through the shallows instead of running or hopping.  High stepping is to be avoided, if possible, unless you are, of course, blasting out on a rescue.  Also, be careful of the plethora (great many) of inshore holes which the recent early June southern swell caused.

OLS Dave Benzer, below, at SMS Tower #20 explaining to a body boarder why he was signaled to return to shore after struggling to do so.

As I continued my return trip toward SMHQ an hour or so later after a couple of visits with the above referenced guards at T-26 and T-20, I found myself just south of SMS Tower #16 and looked up at the tower and saw that neither Dave nor his rescue can were there and so I looked out in the water and there I again found Dave with two people in a riptide in approximately 5 - 6 feet of water and both apparently refusing his rescue can and so I stopped and observed this for a few moments and took a photo (of course; see below) and then the rip started pulling more and ensnared two body boarders and then I found myself stripping off my t-shirt, hat, sunglasses and towel again....

As it turns out, there were a total of FIVE (5) victims that Dave rescued this time around.  I had arrived after he had assisted a swimmer into shallow water already.  The two swimmers who had refused Dave's help finally accepted our help when they became exhausted and we helped the two body boarders into shallow water as well.
Photo of OL Dave Clarke during his FIVE rescues...

50 Percent Close up of same Rescue of Five.

Extreme Close up of Rescue of Five.

And here are a couple of photos of the inshore holes and the rip moments after the five rescues plus a short video of the rip (with no one in it).

SMS #16 Inshore Holes & Rip Current: The Video

And so that is the story of "Dave Clarke's Five Rescues".  Not to mention the three rescues before that...


(Photos and videos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2013).


Until next time.....

Will Maguire, Editor

Service • Training • Commitment

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

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