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News Review
West Cliff Water Rescue 2-27-14
Posted Date: 2/28/2014

What-Nature of Event:

Water Rescue

When-Time and Date:

3:32 P.M. February 27, 2014

Where-Address of Event:

Lighthouse Point, West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

Who-Owner / Occupant:


Describe the Event: 

At 3:32 P.M., Santa Cruz Fire was dispatched to a person in the water, unknown if they are in trouble. This swimmer was reported near lighthouse point and seal rock area. Upon the arrival of the fire units, firefighters saw a person swimming off Its beach. The person appeared at this time to not be in trouble. The Harbor Patrol boat was requested to make contact with the swimmer. They were able to navigate stormy conditions and requested the swimmer, which was a female with no wetsuit or fins to board the boat as she was in an unsafe location. She refused their orders and swam away. The boat was maneuvered outside the surf line and stood by as the female was starting to swim towards shore. At this time Santa Cruz Fire had Marine Rescue and Rescue Swimmers on the beach awaiting her arrival. The female started to lose momentum and was starting to be pulled down coast to the toilet bowl area. The order was given to deploy 2 Rescue Swimmers to secure her and swim her out to the Harbor Patrol boat. The rescue swimmers were able to secure her before reaching the toilet bowl and made their way to the boat. No injuries to personnel or the victim. The female was given a ride to the harbor and arrested for public intoxication.


Agencies Involved:

Santa Cruz Fire, AMR, Harbor Patrol

Number of Apparatus:

2 engines, 1 Truck, 1 Battalion Chiefs

Number of Firefighters: 


Estimated Loss & Save


Additional Information: 

This is the second incident that our department has encountered with refusal to take the advice of our trained rescue swimmers and harbor patrol in recent months.  It is not advisable to swim during stormy or large surf conditions especially without the right equipment. These actions also put our rescuers lives in danger to make contact with these people or rescue them.




Battalion Chief Mike Venezio


February 27, 2014