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One way ticket to China. Surfer rescue.
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streetsailing



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 119
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: One way ticket to China. Surfer rescue. Reply with quote

in light of the windsurfer who used his phone to get rescued on Maui yesterday, i thought i would share this story from the Crissy Field Yacht club . It's your club too and you're all members so please Like if you like.
https://www.facebook.com/CrissyFieldYachtClub

Thanks to Justin for picking up his gear and not selling it on iWindsurf.

ONE WAY TICKET TO CHINA!
And what did you do for St. Patties day? My story is simple, I did my good deed indeed.
It was just another post work session. I made it up to Fort Point and was having an amazing soul session. There were no other windsurfer or kiters. Just me and a group of surfers. I was hogging the outside and they were clustered inside the wind line. Just another typical FP session.
But there was one thing out of place. A lone surfer in bare skin and board shorts amongst the others, playing it safe, paddling the inside, waiting for the bombs to come in to Fort Point. Normal behavior considering the ebb tide was strong and even the fittest of surfers couldn't paddle against the strong tide sucking out of the golden gate today…….until!
Well, you guested it, the lone naked surfer decides to come out and try and catch an early outside break. He parks himself just under the bridge but is paddling hard just to stay in that spot. I take a nice jibe around him using him as a jibe buoy. I ask him if he's hot or something, he responds with a "it's not bad, it feels good".
I sail out to the south tower and on my way back to Fort Point I notice that he's now outside the bridge just a bit. Again I jibe around him and see if he's ok. He nods and i go back to the south tower for another hero jibe. Upon my return, he's not there anymore. I make another transition and look for him as I come off a plane near FP. I see him up by the red nun buoy which is about 50yds outside the south tower. I think to myself "this is not going to end well for this dumb ass".
One thing I've learned after sailing here for the past 24yrs is that things can get pretty critical in a matter of seconds during an extreme ebb tide. The guy was on his way to the Farallon Islands for St patties day dinner, and he was the main course.
Ok, time to act fast. Luckily I see a coast guard cutter coming into the bay about midspan so I bolt on down to wave them down. It's like they didn't even notice me as they keep on there way into the bay. Plan B. I see a small 25 foot sailboat sailing in so I flag them down and convince them to call the coast guard and report the incident.
As I sail back to the red nun, I can't find the surfer. Did he make it back it? Did he get picked up? was I imagining the whole thing? After a bit of a confusing moment, I come to my senses. There's no way he's safe. The guy is totally fucked. I have to go find him. As I sail back and forth heading out to sea, looking and looking over the huge rollers, I think that I'll end up needing a rescue myself. As I head further and further out, there is no sign of him but at least the wind is holding up. I'll be able to make it back.
Although the skipper of the sailboat said that they had alerted the coast guard, there is no sign of them as I look toward the bridge which is easily a 1/2 mile away by now.
I continue on my search for the surfer. You can't imagine how hard it is to find even a bird on the water much less this idiot. I sail from the headlands to baker beach one last time and just as I'm about to give up, I see him. Keeping an eye on him as he dips into the 15foot troughs, I head right towards him.
As I sail up to the guy, he is still paddling towards the bridge and seems to be enjoying himself. I stop and ask him if he's on his way to Hawaii. His response is simple. "I think I got sucked out man". No shit!. We're a mile out by now and it's only been 10minutes. "Are you still warm" i ask him. "I'm starting to feel it" he said as his teeth are chattering.
"Good thing it's St P day, your lucky charm is here" i respond, " the coast guard is on their way.'
I sailed around him a bit so that the CG could find us. They were buzzing around the south tower for 5 minutes and then suddenly powered in our direction. They must have seen my sail. Thank God. The wind held up for me so after they picked him up, I was able to continue my session at FP with Steve and Soheil. When I got home,I called the coast guard to check on the rescue . Greg was released from their care at the Ft. Baker station after they warmed him up. I hope he didn't try to paddle back to FP. The operator said that the surfer didn't seem to understand the gravity of his situation and just joked about the incident.
What do you think the lessons of the day are???
Sail On!
https://www.facebook.com/CrissyFieldYachtClub
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2396

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was in no trouble.
Without a wetsuit, anyone would get cold, but that's his decision.
The worst that can happen to a FPoint surfer sucked out is to get pulled to the W side of the bridge, where any decently intelligent person (this guy was questionable, of course) would paddle straight S towards Baker'sBeach, get pulled into the rocks just W of Ft.Point, come in thru the big rocks and occasional sand, then walk up to the W side of FPt., slide the board under the fencing, and climb around it, or over it if you like barbed wire cylone fencing.
Good of you to call for help and wait around, but that guy was in no danger.
Some windsurfers have been sucked out well past Pt.Bonita on the ebb, then got sucked to TI on the flood a few hours later.
Only an "tough" guy would surf without a wetsuit, but if he chooses to freeze, it's still HIS decision.
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SwellRipper



Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Posts: 138
Location: Channel Marker 8A

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: rescue Reply with quote

U saved his ass! Good job.
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xander.arch



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - amazing! You are a real hero for that guy. I hope he understands that. That current is certainly no joke. I got suckered into trying to sneak a few extra rides in down there on a strong ebb, dying wind, and small gear (76l/4.2m2) and I also got suckered right out way beyond the bridge. I did manage to to get back on the bay side of the bridge and then pick up the reverse current by shore, but it was a loooooong slog. And thankfully the Crissy Crew gave the CG a call who picked me up. I hade made it past Torpedo Pier so I would have been fine on my own, but I was happy for the ride. I'm certainly way more careful sailing at Crissy now.

Got to say that I'd love to try catching the FP wave again. Curious to know what kind of gear works best down there in comparison to what the guys sail at the N Tower.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2396

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N tower is mostly smaller boards that barely float you, bump and jump, lots of jibes and slashing.
FPoint is mostly bigger boards, bigger sails, like course slalom, big slalom, or Formula, so you can drop into the swell heading downwind and downwave, not fall off the back, and have enough sail to power you towards the deep water and shoulder.
Depending on your size, something about 30+ liters more than your weight is ideal, the bigger the safer, and you're riding the under the bridge wave, not ripping it up and down carving dimes like a surfer.
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andrewc



Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:

Only an "tough" guy would surf without a wetsuit, but if he chooses to freeze, it's still HIS decision.


55F water=hypothermia in 1 hour. Not including wind-chill.
Surfing without a wetsuit in that temp, unless you are a mass of blubber is risking your life if something does not work out for you, not matter how freaking 'tough' you are.
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streetsailing



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 119
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't think that he would have been fine. it was cold and windy out there and he was caught in the ebb rip that moves out pretty fast. He had already been in the surf zone for at least an hour. The CG would have had a tough time finding him and he would probably have been in the water an additional 30 min. And that's if someone had called it in soon enough. I would have gone home if I thought he was fine.

Yes, paddling toward the south is your best bet in that situation. The cross current/back eddy will bring you back to the FP beach. The guy was not doing that. He was leisurely paddling against the current toward the GG. I had a chat with the CG after the incident and after he was released from the paramedics. He appeared to be under the influence of something. Hopefully just bliss.

BTW, sailing FP is a matter of wind, tide and swell conditions and your personal skill level. There are no specific equipment requirements to sail there. Experience and good judgment is your best weapon. I've sailed there for the past 24 yeas on anything from 85l boards to a Formula board and 4.5 sail to 11m sail. I weigh 210lbs. My preferred kit is a 100l freestyle board and a 5.0 or 5.7. Your first attempts should be on a flood tide until you feel comfortable with the spot. Ask me, I'll take you there.
Sail On!
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2396

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully, after all your work, he at least said "thanks"...
Lots of rescues, no "thanks"....
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Suba-rude



Joined: 15 Mar 2002
Posts: 332
Location: Outer Richmond District.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He would have washed up at Baker Beach. Anyone that's washed up on Baker knows the rips there are brutal. You'll get sucked over the falls a dozen times till one finally washes your sorry ass in. No wetsuit, natural selection case for sure.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2396

PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOPE, not Bakers, but the little beach W of Ft.Point, with the 4' diameter rocks spread hither and dither......
Baker's is closeout shorebreak, but you only need 2 to make it to standing depth water, where you ride the current IN. Very few rips going out there.
With a surfboard, you paddle in, laying well back, and ride ONE closeout to shallow water, if you can surf.
With a windsurfer, it's more difficult, and it's often better to hold the tip of the mast and take 4 poundings before shallow water.
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