Monday, July 15, 2013

"El Porto - Back In The Day": Part Two, by OL Ed Craig

El Porto Parking Lot Entrance...

Question: What's better than a story about lifeguarding in El Porto by Veteran OL Ed Craig ?
Answer:  Two stories about lifeguarding in El Porto by Ed, of course!

And here it is!

"El Porto - Back In The Day": Part Two, by OL Ed Craig

Phil Navarro and I were doubled at 42nd on one of the roughest surf days I have ever seen in my some 53 years of lifeguarding.  During the night the surf had created a bowl 20 yards wide and 4 feet deep from the berm just south of 42nd.  The drop from the berm to the surging water was 4 feet straight down.  This also created a back flow out to a vicious rip that was being fed by a 7 knot lateral drift and 5 to 6 foot surf.  

Phil and I realized the potential for danger and lined the berm in front of the bowl with cones and stationed ourselves north and south to keep people out.  We made many rescues and backups to 40th and 45th throughout the day.   High tide came in the early afternoon and the bowl became a swirling mass of sand and knee deep water.  

A very large heavy man decided to try to walk through the bowl and was immediately pulled off his feet and swept out.  Both Phil and I hit the water and found ourselves in a whirlpool almost 50 yards out.  We had the man hold on to both of our rescue cans as we tried to swim laterally both north, south and even out to sea to get out of the rip.  We could not make any headway.  After about 10 minutes Phil spotted a surfer he knew and talked him into letting us have his surfboard.  Only after I assured him that I would make sure we got to shore did he let us have the board.  Phil got the man onto the board and paddled toward 45th as I and the surfer swam behind.  It took us almost 15 minutes to get out of the rip and to shore. 


*** Thanks very much, Ed!   And perhaps his partner that day, Phil Navarro, may want to share with us what he remembers from that day as well, which we would welcome and would like to share with our readers.  10-4

("El Porto - Back In The Day": Part Two, by & Copyright OL Ed Craig 2013.)
(Photos herein by & Copyright Will Maguire 2012.)


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

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