A surfer stranded on the rocks at Montara State Beach on Sunday afternoon was rescued through a team effort that involved U.S. Coast Guard and California State Parks lifeguards.
A hiker in the area spotted the surfer and saw that the man was unable to get to shore, according to a Coast Guard release. The hiker called emergency operators at 1:45 p.m.
While the Coast Guard launched a helicopter and boat crew from the San Francisco Station to assist, local lifeguards went into action.
Grayson Capers, a Half Moon Bay High School graduate who exceled on the school’s surf team, was the first to get to the stranded surfer. He is a seasonal lifeguard working with State Parks. He helped the unidentified surfer swim safely out to open water once the helicopter was in place to lower a rescue swimmer into the water. Capers swam back to shore as the surfer was hoisted into the helicopter.
The Coast Guard lowered the man onto Montara State Beach moments later. He appeared unharmed and did not require medical attention at the scene. Video of the rescue shows him hugging those who came to his aid. A bystander appeared to give him back his surfboard.
Capers wasn’t the only local lifeguard on the scene. Seasonal lifeguard Malcolm Feix was ready to jump in, but was asked by local fire crews to stand by so that no one else was put in danger.
Dan Perry was the professional lifeguard on duty that day.
Jeff Wadkins, a peace officer lifeguard for State Parks also responded. He said his JetSki developed mechanical problems en route and he was forced to swim to shore.
“This is a perfect example of teamwork in action, from the good Samaritan who made the call to the lifeguard who helped the surfer back into the water so we could hoist him,” said the helicopter’s co-pilot Coast Guard Lt. Anders Manley in a prepared statement.
“It proves that keeping the Bay Area safe is a team effort, especially as more people get out on the water to enjoy summertime weather.”