15 Feb 2008 10:59:19
Jack Linthicum
Indialantic man seeking a rescue plan to prevent surf deaths


Brian Bobb, two heart attacks, prostate disease, a pacemaker, attempts
a rescue of a surfer caught in storm driven 8-12 foot waves. He is
looking at surfers as the proper instruments to institute a rescue
system on a series of beaches in Brevard County often without
lifeguard protection.

A Surf Rescue Team be made up of local surfers who live close to the
beach, each of who would undergo some form of rescue training program.

"Aside from lifeguards, our area's surfers would be the most qualified
of all for shoreline rescues," he said. "They are fit, know the waters
and I know of many who would be more than willing to do this."

Mr. Bobb suggests each surfer carry a pager for a certain period of
time and be assigned a certain area of beach.

"It would just be another way to get some extra help out there," he
said. "In these types of situations, every second counts."


http://www.myhometownnews.net/index.php?id=39195

Posted: 2008 Feb 15 - 00:56

By Tammy Roberts

Staff Writer

Oct. 3, 2005, was a life-changing day for Satellite Beach resident
Brian Bobb.

Without warning that afternoon, Mr. Bobb, 63, would be forced to make
a split decision that would later have a drastic affect on his health,
finances and personal commitments.

"Looking back, I still don't regret my choice," Mr. Bobb said. "I
would do it again if I had to."

The beginnings of a tropical storm hit the Space Coast earlier that
week, causing waves 8 to 12 feet high.

Mr. Bobb was walking along Boardwalk Beach in Indialantic when he saw
pointing and heard screams on the shoreline. Jeremiah Chapman, a 29-
year-old surfer from Lakeland, was caught in the surf.

Without hesitation, Mr. Bobb kicked off his shoes and ran 150 yards
down the beach where a friend of the victim handed him a body board.

"I knew I wasn't the best candidate to go out there and save this
kid," said Mr. Bobb, who, at the time, had two heart attacks, prostate
disease, a pacemaker and several broken bones in his medical history.
"But I also knew I had no choice. No one else was going in there after
him."

Mr. Bobb wrestled the surf for quite some time before he reached Mr.
Chapman and eventually brought him to safety.

His feat, however, left him with a sever neck injuries, a stack of
medical bills and a new opinion on the county's lifeguard situation.

"The last thing I want people to do is feel sorry for me," he said. "I
just want people to know that this incident has left me in a very
terrible place. Unfortunately, it's a situation that could have been
prevented."

Since his injuries forced him to leave his job as a contractor, Mr.
Bobb has devoted all of his free time to finding solutions to ensure
his fate does not happen to others.

"I want to see them make changes, not excuses," he said.

Brevard County recorded 10 drownings in 2007. The common thread - most
incidents occurred in unguarded areas of beach, many in the Cocoa
Beach area.

"That is where our trouble spot is," said Mr. Bobb, pointing to Cocoa
Beach on a map he designed. "Shouldn't this be obvious?"

One of Mr. Bobb's ideas is a Web site, showing a map of Brevard
County. Beachgoers would see an "X" marking the areas where lifeguards
would be stationed that day.

"People would then be able to plan around what they want - guarded or
unguarded," he said. "The (map) clearly spells out what to expect
before people get there, not when they arrive."

Mr. Bobb also encourages resorts and hotels to use this technology as
advertising for tourists.

"Their slogan could read: 'Come to our beautiful beach this holiday,
where you are protected every day,'" he said. "This will not offend
anyone. If you want people at your beach, you will get them this way.
It's plain and simple."

Another idea Mr. Bobb developed is to re-design the county's beach
accesses so they are more accessible for rescue crews to assist in a
drowning situation.

Using his contractor experience, Mr. Bobb designed a sketch of a beach
access that includes an electronic gate with a ramp, rather than a
permanent one, that would open during an emergency.

Mr. Bobb suggested each beach access has a lifeguard shed, containing
emergency equipment that can be used by a bystander if necessary.

"On top of the shed would be a flashing light and siren," he said. "As
soon as a person signals the siren, rescue crews would be notified and
all gates would open for easier accessibility to the beach."

Also notified during an emergency signal, Mr. Bobb said, would be what
he calls a Surf Rescue Team.

The team would be made up of local surfers who live close to the
beach, each of who would undergo some form of rescue training program.

"Aside from lifeguards, our area's surfers would be the most qualified
of all for shoreline rescues," he said. "They are fit, know the waters
and I know of many who would be more than willing to do this."

Mr. Bobb suggests each surfer carry a pager for a certain period of
time and be assigned a certain area of beach.

"It would just be another way to get some extra help out there," he
said. "In these types of situations, every second counts."

Brevard County operates with two year-round lifeguards - a chief and
his assistant - about 100 part-time guards, and 13 towers, spread
throughout 72 miles of coastline, said Brevard County Ocean Rescue
Chief Wyatt Werneth.

In comparison, Volusia County has 81 full-time, year-round lifeguards
covering 46 miles of beach.

Indian River County, bordering Brevard to the south, staffs 13 full-
time guards and four part-time guards, but only has five miles of
beach.

Brevard County's lifeguard program is seasonal, and begins the last
weekend in March and ends after the last weekend in October.

From then on, beachgoers are left to tackle the surf at their own
risk.

But year-round, Chief Werneth divides his time between monitoring the
county's beaches, leading lifeguard education seminars, heading the
Safe Surfer program and promoting safety awareness tactics at local
hotels and resorts.

The sheer number of drownings and rescues last year performed by Good
Samaritans like Mr. Bobb prompted the county to look outside the area
for solutions.

Mr. Bobb and many other beach safety advocates attended a forum hosted
by members of the U.S. Lifesaving Association in January at the
Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Resort. The forum outlined a four-
month study performed by the group, targeting Brevard and its
surrounding areas.

It addressed areas of beach advertising to the area, which many people
have seen as contradictory to the county's drowning problem.

"In general, I think, as one thing expands, another needs to follow,"
said Chief Werneth, during the forum. "I see more and more people
visiting our beaches every year."

Those involved in the study said they were awaiting a report from
Brevard County Fire Rescue on the lifeguard staffing issue in order to
complete their study, which they anticipated would be finished by the
end of February.

In the meantime, Mr. Bobb plans to present his ideas to the county
commission and other organizations in the community, in hopes that
they will provide some needed solutions.

"Without the support from my wife and children, I honestly don't know
what my outcome would be," Mr. Bobb said. "My goal is to prevent this
from happening to others. The clock is ticking. We need results now."

Wachovia Bank locations in Brevard County are accepting donations to
the Brian Bobb Assistance Fund. Contact Brian Bobb at (321) 557-4501.


15 Feb 2008 12:36:12
gpsman
Re: Indialantic man seeking a rescue plan to prevent surf deaths

On Feb 15, 1:59 pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net >
wrote:
>
> "Aside from lifeguards, our area's surfers would be the most qualified
> of all for shoreline rescues," he said. "They are fit, know the waters
> and I know of many who would be more than willing to do this."

Noble intent, not a good idea.

Ocean rescues take training, and ongoing recurrent training. A
panicked drowning person is very likely to drown you if you don't know
what you're doing.

The Red Cross training I received in HI was pretty intense; 4 hours/
day, 5 days/wk, for 6 weeks, each session beginning with a 1600 meter
"warmup".

I was barely in shape for it as a young infantryman who spent every
spare moment in the water, often swimming for my board.

Surfers are not necessarily all that physically fit, especially since
the invention of the leash.

Risking the life of an inadequately trained and/or prepared person to
save the life of another person who made a poor choice is not the best
of ideas, IMO.

(And, Jack, FYI, it's SOP to not post phone numbers or email addresses
other than your own to Usenet.)
-----

- gpsman


15 Feb 2008 13:30:58
Jack Linthicum
Re: Indialantic man seeking a rescue plan to prevent surf deaths

On Feb 15, 3:36 pm, gpsman <gps...@driversmail.com > wrote:
> On Feb 15, 1:59 pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> > "Aside from lifeguards, our area's surfers would be the most qualified
> > of all for shoreline rescues," he said. "They are fit, know the waters
> > and I know of many who would be more than willing to do this."
>
> Noble intent, not a good idea.
>
> Ocean rescues take training, and ongoing recurrent training. A
> panicked drowning person is very likely to drown you if you don't know
> what you're doing.
>
> The Red Cross training I received in HI was pretty intense; 4 hours/
> day, 5 days/wk, for 6 weeks, each session beginning with a 1600 meter
> "warmup".
>
> I was barely in shape for it as a young infantryman who spent every
> spare moment in the water, often swimming for my board.
>
> Surfers are not necessarily all that physically fit, especially since
> the invention of the leash.
>
> Risking the life of an inadequately trained and/or prepared person to
> save the life of another person who made a poor choice is not the best
> of ideas, IMO.
>
> (And, Jack, FYI, it's SOP to not post phone numbers or email addresses
> other than your own to Usenet.)
> -----
>
> - gpsman

Gomen nasai


17 Feb 2008 06:53:51
SKIPPER
Re: Indialantic man seeking a rescue plan to prevent surf deaths

On Feb 15, 4:30=A0pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net >
wrote:
> On Feb 15, 3:36 pm, gpsman <gps...@driversmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 15, 1:59 pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net>
> > wrote:
>
> > > "Aside from lifeguards, our area's surfers would be the most qualified=

> > > of all for shoreline rescues," he said. "They are fit, know the waters=

> > > and I know of many who would be more than willing to do this."
>
> > Noble intent, not a good idea.
>
> > Ocean rescues take training, and ongoing recurrent training. =A0A
> > panicked drowning person is very likely to drown you if you don't know
> > what you're doing.
>
> > The Red Cross training I received in HI was pretty intense; 4 hours/
> > day, 5 days/wk, for 6 weeks, each session beginning with a 1600 meter
> > "warmup".
>
> > I was barely in shape for it as a young infantryman who spent every
> > spare moment in the water, often swimming for my board.
>
> > Surfers are not necessarily all that physically fit, especially since
> > the invention of the leash.
>
> > Risking the life of an inadequately trained and/or prepared person to
> > save the life of another person who made a poor choice is not the best
> > of ideas, IMO.
>
> > (And, Jack, FYI, it's SOP to not post phone numbers or email addresses
> > other than your own to Usenet.)
> > =A0-----
>
> > - gpsman
>
> Gomen nasai

where's flek?

-PA


17 Feb 2008 07:48:06
Jack Linthicum
Re: Indialantic man seeking a rescue plan to prevent surf deaths

On Feb 17, 9:53 am, SKIPPER <blakes...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Feb 15, 4:30 pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Feb 15, 3:36 pm, gpsman <gps...@driversmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 15, 1:59 pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net>
> > > wrote:
>
> > > > "Aside from lifeguards, our area's surfers would be the most qualified
> > > > of all for shoreline rescues," he said. "They are fit, know the waters
> > > > and I know of many who would be more than willing to do this."
>
> > > Noble intent, not a good idea.
>
> > > Ocean rescues take training, and ongoing recurrent training. A
> > > panicked drowning person is very likely to drown you if you don't know
> > > what you're doing.
>
> > > The Red Cross training I received in HI was pretty intense; 4 hours/
> > > day, 5 days/wk, for 6 weeks, each session beginning with a 1600 meter
> > > "warmup".
>
> > > I was barely in shape for it as a young infantryman who spent every
> > > spare moment in the water, often swimming for my board.
>
> > > Surfers are not necessarily all that physically fit, especially since
> > > the invention of the leash.
>
> > > Risking the life of an inadequately trained and/or prepared person to
> > > save the life of another person who made a poor choice is not the best
> > > of ideas, IMO.
>
> > > (And, Jack, FYI, it's SOP to not post phone numbers or email addresses
> > > other than your own to Usenet.)
> > > -----
>
> > > - gpsman
>
> > Gomen nasai
>
> where's flek?
>
> -PA

Shirimasen