High surf, sharp rocks a challenge for rescuers

OCEANSIDE — Two jetty rescues were successfully performed a day apart as high swells hit beaches over the weekend.

The incident on Oct. 7 involved a 20-year-old man on a jet ski. According to Oceanside Fire personnel the man lost control of his personal watercraft, hit the north harbor jetty and was thrown into the water.

“He struggled in the water due to the high surf and was eventually washed into the rocks of the jetty,” Deputy Fire Chief Joe Ward said in a press release.

Oceanside firefighters, lifeguards and harbor police responded from the water. Lifeguards and firefighters teamed up in a boat search, additional lifeguards searched by jet ski, and harbor police also responded by boat. The man was located “smashed” between jetty rocks. Fire Department personnel said he was found in severe distress with multiple injuries.

Lifeguards battled high surf to reach the injured man and stabilize him for transport. The man was taken by lifeguard jet ski to a rescue boat. Once aboard the boat his injuries were immediately treated.

He was transported by boat to the harbor police dock, driven by ambulance to Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and then flown to the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla trauma center for further treatment. Lifeguards could not confirm if the man was an enlisted Marine.

It is known he and a friend were riding individual jet skis prior to the incident. His friend called in the accident.

The following day, another full ocean rescue response by city firefighters, lifeguards and police assisted two women who were swept off the Camp Pendleton Del Mar Beach jetty by a large wave.

According to lifeguard personnel two women in their 30s and 40s were knocked off the jetty, onto the rocks and into the water. Lifeguards reached both women by boat.

“Lifeguards were able to extricate both victims onto the rescue boat and they were transported to Oceanside paramedics waiting nearby,” Beach Lifeguard Sgt. Gregory Trebbe said.

Trebbe said the women had walked a significant distance out onto the jetty, which serves as a breakwater for the Camp Pendleton Del Mar Boat Basin. The jetty has a posted A-frame closed sign to prevent people from venturing onto it.

One of the women was transported by ambulance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla for additional treatment. Lifeguards could not confirm if the women were enlisted military or military family.

Trebbe said it was a successful rescue, and a reminder for people to obey all warning signs especially during high surf and inclement weather.

1 Comment
  1. Salty 5 days ago

    correction in story: A Camp Pendleton lifeguard was first on scene, located and was parmont in the rescue of the jet skier. Kudos to all rescuers.

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