As a proud Huntington Beach resident of over 50 years, I would like to suggest others contact the city of Huntington Beach to encourage the increase of lifeguards to at least every other lifeguard tower on the beach, especially during peak times such as Spring Break.
While kite surfing on Thursday April 13, 2017, at about 5:15pm, around 10th Street at the 1/4 mile buoy, I found a very freezing, cold woman named Anna. She was blue in the face and purple lips begging me to save her.
Kite surfing is sort of like sailing, you can't just stop, so in made a jibe turn, unzipped my impact vest and made a 2nd pass at her and handed her my impact vest to float on.
I started waving my arms at Tower 0 on the pier, but our position was directly into the sun and the lifeguards manning Tower 0 could not see us. No lifeguards manning any lifeguard towers on the beach looking out over the surf to see us either. It was just me and her. I stopped in front of her and directed her where to hold on to me and hold on and please don't touch the control bar, or the kite could crash. I brought the kite from the neutral zenith position into the wind power zone and started dragging us both in on our tummies, her holding onto the back of my harness.
My kite surfing friend Omar saw what was going on and started to try signaling for help, to no avail. We got her to the beach and Omar started directing bystanders to help with emergency re-warming procedure and to call 911. According to Omar, it took me about 20 minutes to bring her from the 1/4 mile buoy to the beach.
Tower 0 on the pier never saw us at 9th Steet. It took an additional 10 minutes for the lifeguards and fire trucks to take over emergency re-warming procedure. Bottom line, we really need guards in the towers on the beach, especially during spring breaks.
She entered the water at Dog Beach, and had been pulled out too far and drifted all the way to 10th street before I heard her at the 1/4 mile buoy line calling for help. When I heard her, her cries were so low and muffled that I originally mistook them as cries from a bird. That girl could have died.
I spoke with the lifeguards at headquarters, and they suggested contacting HB City via their website and the Pipeline, which I have done. The more people who request keeping our city safe, the better.
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