Local fire personnel rescued a Cambria father and his 12-year-old son June 23 after their kayak flipped over.
The call about a kayaker in distress came in about 2 p.m., according to Emily Torlano, captain with the Cambria Fire Department. She and fire engineer Ryan Maloney went to the scene with the North Coast Ocean Rescue (NCOR) boat, as other Cal Fire and Cambria Fire personnel also responded.
Waves and surf just south of the rocks at Leffingwell Landing were “very high, double overhead,” Torlano said, and the duo was in “a really, really hairy position, right where the waves break. The father was in the water, and the boy was on his belly on the kayak.”
With Maloney at the helm, the firefighters fought to maneuver the rescue boat into position to toss a rope to the father. “We towed them out of the breakers,” Torlano said, “and then were able to get them both on the boat and a rope on the kayak.”
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She said the man told rescuers he’d been fishing in that area for six years. After the rescue, he and his son “were fine, a little scared, a little cold, but fine,” Torlano said. Apparently, the kayak had a drain problem and had filled with water.
She also said that NCOR, a group of volunteers trained in water rescues, is short of participants, which is one reason fire personnel performed this rescue.
According to the Cambria Community Services District website at www.cambriacsd.org, NCOR volunteers are dispatched through the 911 system to ocean emergencies from Morro Bay to Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. NCOR was formed in July of 1994 by volunteers and members of the CCSD Fire Department and Cambria Community Healthcare District. Today, NCOR is funded by the CCSD and community donations and operates under the direction of the fire department.
Anybody who would like to join NCOR can contact the department at 805-927-6240.