Ahead of some recent swell a week or so ago, Santa Cruz Fire officials had a message for surfers of any level of expertise, but primarily the beginner variety:
“High tides, large waves and powerful currents. Not for beginners! Exercise extreme caution, stay within your limits and know your exit points out of the water.”
But a few surfers didn’t heed that warning.
Captioning the clip above, which shows a fire crew using an aerial ladder to rescue three surfers who were stranded by high tide in the Pleasure Point area, Fire officials wrote:
“Central Firefighters safely rescued three surfers off East Cliff today when they got stuck during high tide. We’d like to remind everyone to please, know before you go!”
And it wasn’t just these three stranded surfers.
According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
“Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Central Fire — along with State Parks rescue swimmers, American Medical Response and the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol — responded to six water rescue calls, several of which involved offering assistance to more than one person.”
And the rescues were somewhat contentious, as in, should these people be paddling out and tempting Poseidon’s wrath when, perhaps, they’re unworthy? And then, use tax dollar funds to foot the bill when they need rescuing?
Retired senior deputy harbormaster Don Kinnamon told the Sentinel:
“I think they oughta charge these people they’re rescuing because the decisions they’re making are terrible. They go out on a high tide and then they try to get in where there’s no spots to paddle in, there’s no places they can get in, and then you’ve got multiple agencies that have to respond.”
As the Fire Department reminded with the age-old saying:
“Know before you go.”
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