Thursday, February 28, 2008

A rescue at Rest Bay, Porthcawl.

It is always heart warming to read a successful rescue story. Here's one today in with a rather detailed headline: "Surfer thanks rescuers who plucked him from Rest Bay" written by Matthew Aplin of South Wales Echo.

The story is straight-forwardly simple:

A SURFER swept towards cliffs by monster waves said today he would have drowned if it hadn’t been for the lifeboat crew who saved him.

The surfer, 28 year old Jon Hibbert of Roath, Cardiff, according to Aplin's article, and a friend were drove down to Rest Bay for a leisurely surf, on Sunday afternoon. In Jon's own words:
“We thought there would be waves of about 3ft but they were two or three times the size of that,

“I didn’t have my leash with me so I used a roof rack strap off my car. That was a big mistake but I just didn’t think of it at the time. It was quite irresponsible because I couldn’t control the board so it was like a torpedo.”
Lesson #1: Be well prepared, have all the equipment accordingly. No substitute is accepted. In Jon's case, as Aplin described, he fought with the currents and was dragged further away from the bay and toward the cliffs. He didn't want to admit defeat but the thought of drowning did came across his mind:
He frantically looked for help.

He said: “I saw two people on the cliffs so I screamed at them. I saw one of them run off and then a crowd started to gather there.

“I didn’t know if they were going to take me seriously. My heart was in my mouth every time a wave came. Luckily, they had called Porthcawl Coastguard.

“They shot a flare out and I saw them waving. I looked over and saw the lifeboat and they came and rescued me. It only took them about 20 minutes. They were so quick.

“When we arrived all the lifeboatmen’s families and babies were there waiting for them. I think I disturbed their Sunday dinners!

“If I had got swept off my board I know that I would’ve drowned. I’m so grateful to the rescuers. It was getting dark and it could’ve taken them hours to find me in a black swim suit.

“I have no doubt in my mind that if it wasn’t for the speed and bravery of the guys in the lifeboat and those on the cliff who saw me, I would have died.

The especially heart warming part is that the rescuer interrupted his family dinner to take upon the rescue. We share Jon's gratefulness for the rescuers and we are really happy that he is alive and well and can continue to tell his story eloquently.

By the way, for us in the other parts of the world who have no idea where Rest Bay, Porthcawl is, the following map from Wikimedia may be of some help:

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