A kite surfer struggling to return to shore near Pinole Shores Park in unincorporated Contra Costa County was rescued Tuesday morning thanks to a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew.
The kite surfer was struggling for about two hours in the water, appearing unable to return to shore, when a bystander on shore reported the emergency about 10:30 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The dispatcher contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Vallejo 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew to the scene.
Due to the shallow depth of the water, the boat crew could not reach the kite surfer. And so the helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer to the surfer. Both the victim and rescue swimmer were then pulled into the helicopter. The surfer was brought to shore, and no one was injured.
“Any time you’re heading out on the water, whether you’re kite surfing, kayaking, or boating, we strongly urge you to have a marine VHF radio on you at all times,” said Cmdr. Emma Silcox, Sector San Francisco’s search-and-rescue mission coordinator. “They are more effective than cell phones when you need to reach the Coast Guard during an emergency.”