The multi diver rescue mentioned in your April 13 article “Instinct Saves a Life” shows the value and courage of people like Mr. McErlane and our lifeguards.
I personally met the bald and bearded dive instructor standing to the right of center in the picture on page 16. He and his group were laying out their gear and wetsuits while I was walking along the bluff at Heisler that morning. I introduced myself as an experienced local diver. We spoke for several minutes while both watching seven-foot waves in front of us at Heisler. We could also both see the surfers and higher waves to the east at Rockpile. As we were close to high tide, I very specifically warned them not to enter for at least two hours, and then only if conditions improved dramatically.
I was told the students were entering the ocean in SCUBA for the first time. The woman in the picture lacks a forearm, and particularly should not have been subjected to this trauma by her instructor. As the instructor responded to me in a calm and relaxed tone that implied he was listening and was aware of the danger, I continued my walk.
They were not surprised by the large surf, as was reported in the article. The instructor ignored the obvious conditions.
Leonard Porto, Laguna Beach