Surfers save fellow surfer in 'gnarly' rescue - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Surfers save fellow surfer in 'gnarly' rescue

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SUNSET CLIFFS (CBS 8) - After seeing a man go underwater and not come back up, a group of veteran wave riders sprang into action Monday morning off the coast of Sunset Cliffs.

Veteran surfer Paula Reynolds was between sets Monday morning about 300 yards off the shore when a surfer she spied moments earlier disappeared.

"I could see his board just ahead of me, but no surfer on it," she said.

Concerned when he failed to resurface, Reynolds took action.

"Just paddled up next to him, I just reached over and rolled him over onto his back on to my board," she said.

The 61-year-old victim, who lifeguards later confirmed had suffered a heart attack, was throwing up water, according to Reynolds.

"I'm thinking just don't die on me, I got to get this guy in," Reynolds said.

She yelled for help, and two other nearby boarders, including Pier Moore, rushed over.

"You know, it was gnarly," Moore siad.

While Reynolds went for help, Moore and paddleboarder Tom Hadfield worked on reviving him in the water, then brought him closer to shore.

"I held the guy on the board, had his lead tilted, and he jumped up and (Hadfield) would do the CPR," Moore said.

Lifeguards arrived shortly, bringing the victim to Mission Bay by boat, where paramedics treated him.

"He was still very disoriented, but breathing. In my opinion, the surfers saved his life," lifeguard Rich Haynes said.

"I'm really glad he's doing okay. He owes me a couple of waves," Reynolds said.

Conditions were extremely foggy at Sunset Cliffs Monday morning, meaning that it is unlikely that anyone would have spotted the victim from the shore. If his fellow surfers hadn't been near the victim at the time, this story could have had a much different outcome.

The 61-year-old victim was transported to UCSD Medical Center to be checked out as a precaution, but was expected to be okay.

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