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Local surfer recovers from near drowning

Posted at 7:49 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 23:39:44-05

A local surfer is recovering from serious injuries after almost drowning in Morro Bay.

Harbor patrol got a call the morning of December 8, 2018 about a surfer face down in high surf.

That surfer was Craig Ainsworth.

He says he became unconscious after another surfboard hit him in the head.

A couple of his friends and a few other surfers helped pull him out of the water and performed CPR until first responders arrived.

Bystander CPR likely saved his life that day.

He was unconscious for nearly a week, waking up from a medically-induced coma December 13th.

He says he woke up at Marian Hospital in Santa Maria, in the same ICU room his father had passed away in 2012.

“For weeks, I had no movement in my body at all. Everyday just a little bit more keeps coming back, so I am really hopeful that some day I will be able to recover and maybe go back to work,” said Craig Ainsworth, a Los Osos surfer recovering from a near drowning.

Now, he’s back home undergoing physical therapy as an incomplete quadriplegic.

Ainsworth says he is fortunate to be alive.

“I remember coming to and my first conscious thought was I could feel a sensation in my toes and fingers and my conscious thought that I remember was ‘oh my goodness I have a chance to recover,’” said Ainsworth.

He has been able to gain some feeling back in his limbs, but it will take about a year to gain more movement.

Ainsworth wants to thank the community and his wife for the continuous support on his road to recovery.

He especially wants to thank the people who stepped in to save his life that day.

“I’m living on borrowed time, this is a bonus round in life,” said Ainsworth. “I don’t even know who all was there helping save my life, but thank you to so many people.”