Posted: Sep 23, 2012 1:40 PM by Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News
Some lifeguards in Oceano have been pretty busy over the weekend, but not for actual emergencies.
They are taking part in a three-day rescue water craft training course.
During the course, five instructors are teaching skilled lifeguards how to maneuver rescue water crafts, so that, down the road, they can teach up and coming lifeguards.
Rescue water craft boats are designed to be used in the ocean, but can also be used in lakes.
They are able to respond to a rescue faster, and also maneuver into tight spots and more remote areas that surf watch boats cannot get into.
Officials say that the lifeguards using these types of boats need to be good swimmers, mentally alert and physically fit to battle the harsh conditions of the waves sometimes.
"At times, lifeguards can't make it all the way back to shore because the power of the waves and the size of the rip currents they're pulling the victims out of, so we're able to utilize this craft to go out in those conditions and actually rescue the rescuers who have a victim in tow, as well," said Phillip Hauck, a State Park Peace Officer and lifeguard.
They say they can use these rescue skills dozens of times over the course of the summer.
Part of the course involved staged victims needing help in the water, requiring the lifeguards to determine the best methods to get them safely onto the water craft, and at times, using an attached rescue sled.
This is the first time this type of course has taken place at the Oceano Dunes.
Huntington Beach has held similar courses.
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