Training Pays Off
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 20:58:41 -0400 (EDT)
The following is from the Stockton (CA) Record of April 15th.
"COAST GUARD SALUTES SEA SCOUTS FOR RESCUING FAMILY
by Cindy Sui
A team of area Sea Scouts who rescued an Antioch family of four Sunday
after thier boat capsized in the frigid waters off Pittsburg wer praised
Monday by the US Coast Guard.
James and Julie Clement and their son Kevin, 8, and daughter Jamie, 10,
didn't need medical treatment, mainly because the Sea Scouts were in the
right place at the right time and knew exactly what to do, said Coast Guard
Petty Officer Steve Semler.
'They were starting to feel hypothermia. The mother said she couldn't feel
her feet and was feeling nauseous, which is the first sign of hypothermia
setting in. If the Scouts hadn't been there, we may have had a worse
situation where they could have gone unconscious and maybe even drowned,'
said Semler, who is stationed in Rio Vista.
The San Joaquin County teenage boys from Sea Scout Ship 13, a
Stockton-based chapter, were heading home with four adult supervisors about
3:30 p.m. from a regatta in San Francisco when they came upon a real-life
test of their nautical skills.
An unexpected gust of strong wind had knoced over the Clement family's
17-foot sailboat at the Stake Point area of Suisun Bay.
They all were wearing life jackets, and they felt confident that someone
would see them in the busy channel, but the 50ish-degree water was beginning
to numb their lower bodies, James Clement said.
The four had been hanging on to the overturned boat about 20 minutes when
the Sea Scouts, sailing back to Stockton in their 82-foot ex-Coast Guard
cutter, saw them.
Employing their bouy- and sling-tossing skills, the scouts, ages 14 to 18,
pulled the family toward their much larger boat and used their combined
strength to hoist the family on deck one by one.
They then wrapped the shivering family members in blankets, warmed them
with hot chocolate and coffee and took them down to the boat's engine room,
where the 115-degree temperature quickly helped them regain strength.
'It's very commendable the way the Sea Scouts rendered assistance as
quickly as they did,' said Sgt. Don Pitts of the Contra Costa County
Sheriff's Marine Patrol, which sent ambulances.
'There wasn't that much boat traffic in that area at the time. They were
lucky the Sea Scouts' boat came along when it did."
Semler visited the Sea Scouts' weekly meeting Monday in Stockton to commend
them for their efforts.
'We couldn't have done a better job if we were there ourselves,' Semler
told the boys, adding that it would have taken the Coast Guard a half-hour to
reach the capsized boat.
Adam Baker, 17, of Manteca - leader of the Sea Scout crew - said the
experience made the Scout's lessons more realistic.
'I think we did really well from a teamwork standpoint. Nobody panicked.
Everybody was calm,' Baker said.
'It was a lot different from practice because we were dealing with real
people, real life."
Skipper Bob French and the crew of the Reliance have shown this end of the
world anyway, the world what Sea Scouting is capable of. I applaud them all.