An Inside Take From The Rescue In Santa Cruz - Stab Mag
Utter chaos. Photo: @totallytubularmag

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?'”

Words by Jack Mutschler

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.”

Photo Courtesy Of Totallytubularmag.

Thankfully, the Harbor Patrol boats were not far behind the surfers, and all of the kids were rescued.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Watch Now: Flick Palmateer’s Nude Surf Film ‘Skin Deep’

"I don't care, this feels bloody great."

Mar 5, 2021

Breaking: Kelly Slater Will NOT Be Flying On the WSL’s Private Jet To Australia

Here's what we know.

Mar 5, 2021

Andy Irons and The Radicals, Chapter 2 of 4

Featuring famously tiny surfboards and the notorious Log Cabins house.

Mar 4, 2021

Haydenshapes Has a New Model, Micky Clarke Endorses It

"Functional, fast, and drivey with amazing release."

Mar 4, 2021

An Ideal Blend Of Surfing And Editing

Tomas Hermes found the magic ratio.

Mar 4, 2021

An Accomplished Surfer Whose Name You Might Not Know

Ryland Rubens is one of San Diego's most underrated surfers.

Mar 3, 2021

These Are Your Favorite Surf Movies Of All Time

We asked the internet about the films that rerouted the trajectories of their entire lives…

Mar 3, 2021

Watch: Sierra Kerr and Al Cleland Junior Just Won $1,000 for Lounging in Tubes

Thanks, Sun Bum.

Mar 3, 2021

Is This Eli Hanneman’s Best Edit Yet?

The 18-year-old is off the grom scale.

Mar 3, 2021

Watch: Beach Head’s New Audience-Titled Film, ‘Wax On, Wacks Off’

Featuring Ian Crane, Caroline Marks, Eithan Osborne, Yadin Nicol and Pat Gudauskas.

Mar 2, 2021

Who Gave 14-Year-Olds Permission To Throw Full Rotations?

Hughie Vaughan is out of his prepubescent mind.

Mar 2, 2021

Shane Sykes Escaped South Africa Just In Time

But not before positively scoring the joint.

Mar 2, 2021

The Undeniable Magnetism Of Craig Anderson

As explained by his longtime friend and photographer, John Respondek.

Mar 1, 2021

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.

Mar 1, 2021

Watch: A Creative Take On A Waco Film

Seager Co. with a delightful throwback to bit-style surf cinema.

Mar 1, 2021

The Flight Patterns Of Balinese Royalty

The Royal Beach Bum flies private.

Mar 1, 2021

Please Do Not Like Or Comment Below

Isn't that refreshing? Click or Miss Vol. 15

Mar 1, 2021

Three Boards That Saved My Hawaiian Season

The Ghost, Shadow, and Pyzalien 2 come to our rescue.

Feb 28, 2021
Advertisement