An Inside Take From The Rescue In Santa Cruz
“I was helping a little girl, and she started screaming, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Am I going to die?'”
On Sunday, a group of the Santa Cruz yacht club’s sailing students’ vessels capsized while returning from their daily lesson. With a 25-foot swell off the coast and king tides in play, it’s mind-boggling that students were on the water to begin with.
As they attempted to re-enter the harbor, the 7-to-12-year-olds were caught by a set and found themselves in a terrible position, trapped between the waves and jacks (large pointy rocks) on the inside. It was a severely mistimed attempt to enter the harbor and resulted in overturned boats, kids submerged in 53-degree water, and strong rips pulling in multiple directions.
Fortunately, a handful of locals were surfing this fickle and dangerous spot, despite the possibility of a citation from the local Harbor Patrol.
I tracked a few of them down to get a firsthand account of the event. Because it’s illegal to surf this spot, I’ll keep them anonymous, referring to them as Sources 1, 2, and 3.
“Definitely a poor decision for the boats to go out there that day,” Source 1 said. “For anyone that’s getting a lesson, whether it’s surfing, swimming, or sailing.”
All the surfers present were hoping for the best, but few were surprised when things went off the tracks and the kids were swept off their sailboats.
While some of the victims remained calm during the event, others panicked. Source 2 said, “I was helping a little girl, and she started screaming, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Am I going to die? Am I going to die?’ She was petrified.”
Source 3 could barely fight the current. “It was literally a river. I had a kid on my back, and I could not fight the rip. So I actually ended up going out, getting out the back a little bit. Eventually, I handed the kid off to the Harbor patrol boat, who was on it, and there super quick to help out.”
Thankfully, the Harbor Patrol boats were not far behind the surfers, and all of the kids were rescued.
Watch Now: Flick Palmateer’s Nude Surf Film ‘Skin Deep’
"I don't care, this feels bloody great."
Breaking: Kelly Slater Will NOT Be Flying On the WSL’s Private Jet To Australia
Here's what we know.
Andy Irons and The Radicals, Chapter 2 of 4
Featuring famously tiny surfboards and the notorious Log Cabins house.
Haydenshapes Has a New Model, Micky Clarke Endorses It
"Functional, fast, and drivey with amazing release."
An Accomplished Surfer Whose Name You Might Not Know
Ryland Rubens is one of San Diego's most underrated surfers.
These Are Your Favorite Surf Movies Of All Time
We asked the internet about the films that rerouted the trajectories of their entire lives…
Watch: Sierra Kerr and Al Cleland Junior Just Won $1,000 for Lounging in Tubes
Thanks, Sun Bum.
Watch: Beach Head’s New Audience-Titled Film, ‘Wax On, Wacks Off’
Featuring Ian Crane, Caroline Marks, Eithan Osborne, Yadin Nicol and Pat Gudauskas.
Who Gave 14-Year-Olds Permission To Throw Full Rotations?
Hughie Vaughan is out of his prepubescent mind.
Shane Sykes Escaped South Africa Just In Time
But not before positively scoring the joint.
The Undeniable Magnetism Of Craig Anderson
As explained by his longtime friend and photographer, John Respondek.
The Dark Hollow Collection Is Some of Globe and Dion Agius’ Best Design Work
If that doesn't float your boat, the rest of their Living Low Velocity range will.
Watch: A Creative Take On A Waco Film
Seager Co. with a delightful throwback to bit-style surf cinema.