Imperial Beach lifeguards save life of unconscious surfer

Not breathing, no pulse…gets to “making conversation” in ER

Lifeguards in Imperial Beach used an electronic defibrillator to revive a 65-year-old bodyboarder on November 30th who lost consciousness while surfing with friends.

The man, who authorities declined to identify, had gone surfing with two friends that afternoon when he “started having problems and turning red,” said Cpt. Robert Stabenow of the Imperial Beach Fire Department. “When his buddy grabbed him, they saw he was unconscious.”

Lifeguards on patrol noticed the situation when the man’s friends were bringing him out of water to the beach.

The victim was not breathing and had no pulse when lifeguards started CPR and used the electronic defibrillator, according to Imperial Beach authorities. Only “one shock” from the defibrillator was necessary for the man’s heart to start beating and for him to start breathing on his own, authorities said.

He was reported as well enough to be “making conversation” in the ER department of Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, where he had been transported by IB Fire Department paramedics, city officials said.

Lifeguards Art Ayala, Hans Kohler, Brittany Hansen as well as Sgt. Jason Lindquist were scheduled to receive an award from the city at the council meeting on Wednesday, December 4.

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The term "life guard" here is apt. We hire and pay them to save lives. What we so often see and hear of them is ordering bathers around, telling them to swim here and not there, and rescuing board surfers who put themselves in harm's way. So, they actually saved a life. Good for them. That's their job, and occasionally they actually do that.

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