Injured Body Surfer Rescued by Helicopter

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An OC Fire Authority helicopter assists with airlifting out an injured swimmer. Photo by John Thomas
An OC Fire Authority helicopter assists with airlifting out an injured swimmer. Photo by John Thomas

A 19-year-old body surfer who suffered injuries when tossed by the waves into a rocky South Laguna beach had to be airlifted out for treatment Tuesday, Aug. 4, authorities said.

The swimmer went over the falls in an area known as Secret Cove, a narrow inlet accessible to the public on foot by crossing a rocky outcropping from Table Rock Beach to the north or through a cave from Totuava Beach.

With conventional extraction options limited due to the steep surrounding terrain, DSC_1702 (2)rescuers called for an airlift, said OC Lifeguard Capt. Jason Young.

“He sustained multiple mild to moderate abrasions throughout his entire body,” said Laguna Beach fire marshal Ed Valdez, who did not further identify the victim. He said rescuers wanted to immobilize the victim’s spine because of a suspected head injury.

After being hoisted by helicopter, the victim was transported by ambulance to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Valdez said.

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