Russian tourist rescued off Ritidian Point
Ritidian Point, Guam – A 30-year old, Russian tourist was rescued after being pulled over the reef at Ritidian Point by a rip current this afternoon.
The swimmer’s girlfriend who was watching from shore, rushed to the Conservation Office on Ritidian Point for help as the swimmer went over the reef and out into the open ocean.
The National Park Service, Guam Fire Rescue, Andersen Fire Rescue, and U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, in coordination with a U.S. Coast Guard Response Boat-Medium from Station Apra Harbor responded to the distress call.
HSC-25 quickly spotted the distressed swimmer and relayed his location to the U.S. Coast Guard Joint Rescue Sub Center. Search and Rescue watchstanders were able to direct fire rescue crews to the area who rescued the swimmer by jet ski. No injuries have been reported at this time.
Rescue crews interviewed the swimmer who indicated once he was swept outside the reef line there was not a safe way to re-enter the beach area. Instead of trying to fight the current to return to shore, the swimmer remained calm and continued to tread water waiting for help.
“Getting caught in a rip current can get dangerous quickly, if you don’t know what to do,” stated Lt. Gregg Maye, command center chief for Sector Guam. “When caught in a rip it is crucial to go with the current and conserve energy until you are able to swim parallel to the beach as the current dissipates”.
For more survival tips and information about how to identify and avoid rip currents, please visit: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/overview.shtml