Close call in the Long Beach surf

Justen Schaak, left, helps steady Barbara Naber after she was rescued from the surf off the Bolstad approach in Long Beach on Independence Day afternoon. She had attempted to rescue her son Zack (center, with boogey board) when the current pushed him too far out. Both were safely recovered by search and rescue swimmers. The U.S. Coast Guard participated in making certain no one else was lost out in deep water. Remember - instead of rushing into the water yourself to save someone, call 911.

Surf Rescue swimmers rescue mother and sonLONG BEACH - "You saved my life," Barbara Naber said to Surf Rescue swimmer Justen Schaak at about 1 p.m. Monday as she held on to Schaak for stability in waist-deep ocean water. The near disaster happened directly in front of the Long Beach approach.

Mrs. Naber had gone into the Pacific to rescue her son, Zack, who had been boogey boarding and gotten in trouble in the treacherous current. Zack also returned to the safety of the beach with the help of rescue swimmers Doug Knutzen, Johnny Phillips and Eddie Mendez.

A report of another swimmer in trouble in the same area proved to be unfounded as the U.S. Coast Guard responded with a helicopter, motor lifeboat, and a Zodiac-type vessel and the Surf Rescue people took to the ocean on two wave runners.

A disaster was averted by the quick response of the rescue swimmers. As the rescue was occurring other vacationers continued to swim and play in the surf even further out from where the Nabers had gotten in trouble.

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