Three fall into stormy sea off Cayucos Pier

One man is rescued and treated for hypothermia; others swim to safety

jlamb@thetribunenews.comDecember 1, 2012 

Horseplay led to a search-and-rescue effort Saturday night in the rough waters off the Cayucos Pier and sent one 22-year-old man to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Around 8:50 Saturday night, Cayucos fire officials received a call from a dispatcher reporting three people in the water off the Cayucos Pier, Capt. Howard Sanford said.

A 22-year-old man and his 20-year-old girlfriend were “horsing around” on the pier, Sanford said. The boyfriend was pretending to push the girlfriend in the water when she actually fell over the railing. She grabbed onto her boyfriend, and they both toppled into the waves, Sanford said.

A male friend, 22, then jumped into the stormy seas in an attempt to rescue the pair, Sanford said.

Two retired fire chiefs, one from Arroyo Grande and one from Santa Maria, happened to be walking down the pier with their wives and heard calls for help.

Sheriff’s deputies soon arrived and shined lights on two of the victims in the water.

The woman and the friend both swam to shore, Sanford said. The third victim held onto a pier piling until he was rescued and taken to a local hospital for hypothermia treatment. The other two victims were sent home.

Sanford said it’s fairly common for people to fall off the pier. “They just don’t normally do it on a stormy winter night,” he said. “It’s nasty out there.”

Officials from the Sheriff’s Office, San Luis Ambulance and Cal Fire stations in Cayucos and Los Osos were involved in the rescue.

Sanford said he believed all three victims were from San Luis Obispo County, but none of their names were released.

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