OCEANSIDE — Beachfront resident Lucas Dalager said he was on his front porch, near the 900 block of The Strand on Jan. 29, when he saw a surfer jump off his board headfirst into the shallow ocean water and not get back up on his board. Dalager ran from his front yard into the 57-degree water, swam out to the man, and found him floating unconscious face down in the water. He proceeded to quickly turn the man over and pull him to shore.
While Dalager headed out to help the man, retired Orange City Fire Capt. Kevin Kelso, of Carlsbad, and two unidentified rescuers saw Dalager helping the surfer in distress and assisted him in bringing the man to shore.
Before firefighters and lifeguards arrived, the four beach-goers had already pulled the man to shore.
“Undoubtedly, had these four individuals not entered the water to save the injured surfer, he most likely would have drowned,” Pete Lawrence, Oceanside Fire Department battalion chief, said.
Lifeguards and paramedics from the Oceanside and Carlsbad fire departments provided immediate emergency care, then the man was airlifted by Mercy Air helicopter to a local trauma center.
The man, in his 30s, sustained serious injuries.