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Weekend water rescues serve as public safety reminder

The weather is getting warmer, and that means more people are spending time out in beautiful waters off the Central Coast.

That also means it is the beginning of a busy season for water rescue crews with CAL FIRE.

Emergency responders were called to the waters just off Shell Beach Saturday afternoon twice to respond to stranded kayakers. The strong ocean tides pulled two kayakers far offshore, and needed assistance getting back to the coast.

Two others fell from their boats just hours later and were helped back to shore by emergency crews. No one was injured.

“The ocean as we all know is a very dynamic place,” says CAL FIRE Pismo Beach Battalion Chief Paul Lee. “A lot of people sometimes overestimate what their skill set is, or they just get in to an environment that changes very quickly, and their skill no longer matches what they need.”

Always make sure to let someone on dry land know where you plan on boating, and when you plan on returning to shore. Keep a close on the weather.

Longtime surfer Jeff Baxter says he has seen kayak rescues while riding the waves before. He says being prepared for anything, including rough and unexpected waves, is key.

“Surfing you’re in that all the time you need to know that where kayaking you may not know that and you’re just out to have a good time and you find yourself in a bad situation.”

If you don’t know the water, ask whoever you rent from, says Lee.

“The conditions can change very quickly here on the Central Coast.”

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