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Surf rescue drill prepares for tourist season

By Colin Murphey

EO Media Group

Published on May 15, 2018 4:22PM

First responders prepare to load a mock victim into a waiting ambulance during a training exercise near Long Beach last week.

Colin Murphey/EO Media Group

First responders prepare to load a mock victim into a waiting ambulance during a training exercise near Long Beach last week.

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Emergency personnel transport a member of the Coast Guard playing the role of a victim out of the water during a training exercise.

Colin Murphey/EO Media Group

Emergency personnel transport a member of the Coast Guard playing the role of a victim out of the water during a training exercise.

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A mock victim is carried out of the water on a backboard.

Colin Murphey/EO Media Group

A mock victim is carried out of the water on a backboard.

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LONG BEACH — As a Coast Guard helicopter hovered overhead and a lifeboat bobbed in the waters off Long Beach, spectators gathered a safe distance away as emergency responders “rescued” seven mock victims during a training exercise MAY 9 involving multiple local agencies.

Organized by the South Pacific County Technical Rescue Team, the drill went off as planned, from the launch of jet skis into the water to the transport of victims into waiting ambulances.

If one of the goals was to achieve realism, it worked — several onlookers could be heard asking each other what happened and expressing words of relief when they were told it was just an exercise.

Surf drownings and near misses are a perennial problem on the Long Beach Peninsula, where warmer weather often tempts inexperienced swimmers into dangerously deep waters along beaches where rip currents and crab holes create hazards.





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