Video courtesy of Kip Brazie Photography
The ocean is a majestic, powerful and ever changing element, full of beauty and wonder. We find peace in its calmness and can be humbled by the energy and strength it can display. Living near the ocean fosters a bond and familiarity and can provide a never ending education about water conditions. Enjoying water sports on the ocean deepens the connection to nature and also develops a deep respect for the unpredictable possibilities. Committed surfers, sailors, fisherman, paddlers and others focus a vast amount of attention on the ebb and flow of the tides, wave size predictions, strength and direction of the wind, even phases of the moon to make decisions on reaping benefits of what the ocean has to offer. Ocean knowledge can only be gained with experience. The elite level of these activities will surely chalk up their understanding to time in, on or around the water.
Then there are those that work professionally with the ocean as their office. This develops yet a higher level understanding and ability to identify situations. There is a glaringly obvious sixth sense to anticipate probable outcomes and react accordingly. In the position of a seasoned ocean lifeguard this skill plays a most critical role.
In this video, one of our ambassadors, Tim Capra, a 22 year ocean rescue veteran and off duty lieutenant with the Vero Beach Lifeguards, rescues two people from a rip current while enjoying an evening at the beach with his family.
While being filmed for a short interview to raise awareness for the upcoming Earth Day beach cleanup by Surf City surf shop owner, Kip Brazie, Capra sees a rip current developing near some bathers. As he moves closer to the water, the bathers are swept into deeper water where they can no longer stand and Capra hits the water in a full sprint with his daughter’s small foam surfboard.
As he approaches the victims, who now have been sucked out beyond the breaking waves, a fully blown rip current has clearly formed. Rip currents are more common during larger surf episodes but can flash at anytime without warning. They are primarily caused by water that rushes back out to sea through a gap in a sandbar, creating a river type flow that even a strong swimmer could not swim directly into.
Once Capra has the victims holding onto the board, he makes his way back towards shore and into shallow water. The quick actions of Capra and his ability to not only see the developing danger but simultaneously identify that the non-swimmers were unaware of what was happening, leaves this story with a happy ending.
SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD
The United States Lifesaving Association offers these tips to avoid and survive rip currents:
Learn how to swim!
The primary safety devices for Standup Paddle Boarding are the use of a leash to connect yourself to your board and a Coast Guard certified Personal Floatation Device (PFD). For some great info on what type of PFD is right for you, check out this video from Tahoe SUP dealer Big Winds in Hood River Oregon.
By Ronnie Posted March 31, 2017 in SUP Lifestyle