Here are some real life testimonials from people all over the world, these testimonials are not only from ordinary people that are using our equipment, but from government agencies, lifeguards, Coast Guards, and Marines. If you don’t believe us, just listen to what these people have to say about our rescue boards and water safety equipment.
Hawaii, at times has the most hazardous ocean conditions in the world. Our lifeguards put there lives on the line every day and rely on their equipment. A lot of people are alive today due to the dedication of our ocean safety team and the state of the art rescue equipment. Our rescue program relies on the high surf accessories because of the strength and durability
—Kalani Vierra- Kauai Fire Department, Ocean Safety Bureau Supervisor and the recipient of the Eddie Aikau 04/05 WATERMAN OF THE YEAR.
“More often than not, our rescues are performed in hairy conditions where there is no place for equipment failure. We are excited that High Surf Accessories is making a rescue board that will hold up to the elements day in and day out.”
— Archie Kalepa, Maui County Ocean Safety Supervisor
“I finally moved up to the bigger waves yesterday. We went to “landfill lefts” at the electric company on the west side which was too big for my skill level. 15′ Hawaiian easy. Looked too hard to rescue. Went to Cambells , where west shore meets south shore with an unbelievable 4 hour session. 10 foot sets. Felt like windsurfing catching the huge swells so early. Anyhow, my partner thinks I’m a genius when during a rescue, I picked him up and had no choice but to try to go up a wave. I got pitched off flipping backwards, ended up way away from the ski. He hung onto the rescue sled, hopped on the ski, put the emergency lanyard key and got out of the impact zone just in time. Picked me up and we continued to surf. Actually I gave you the credit for making our ski rig very safe. The investment just paid for itself. A mile off shore, no ski, huge surf = no fun. thanks again.”
I am an Electrical Engineer working at a Nuclear Power station in North Carolina. I am not your typical engineer as I consider myself a “Blue Collar” engineer. I operate a John Deere 650 bulldozer, run tractor on my farm, build furniture, designed my own Preschool, play sports, and can TiG weld just about anything but a broken heart and the crack of dawn.
So what does all this have to do with HSA? Well, I was trying to lay some ground work to show I am capable of wide range of activities. On Monday, July 2, 2001, at Buxton Beach, North Carolina (if you look at the Outer Banks of N.C., it is at the knee of land which projects furthers into the Atlantic Ocean) I attempted to perform a water rescue which I perceived would be “sand based.” i.e. I would be able to stand an pull back the children which were being tugged in to shore by two other adults caught in fairly shallow rip tide water. Had I thought it would have been anything else, I had some boogie boards available, but I felt I didn’t have the extra minute to go an get them as I perceived the rescue effort to be very short duration. As it turned out, the shallow water turned out not to be, and within moments of pulling, I was the one who could no longer touch and was in the quickest movement of the tide taking me out to sea. At this point I realized the historical significance of the situation – those going to help out have ended up drowning. Not that I am fool hardy, but drowning (in a pool for instance) never seemed life threatening. Many people are trained in mouth to mouth and getting that service within 5 minutes seemed almost guaranteed.
The problem at hand was I was not in a pool, but a rather quick moving rip tide with 2-3 foot seas. I am also a sinker. With my lungs half full of air, I still sink to the bottom. If I was to drown in this situation, I knew no one would find me to be able to revive me within that important 5 minutes.My wife had the presence of mind to send out some boogie boards to two other people who at the time were 30 feet away from me. I did not have socks or shoes on but did have long pants on. (Normal dress for an engineer.) The water treading was significantly more difficult with the pants on so I quickly decided they had to go. (I have since learned of the ballooning method for pants flotation – but did not have that info at the time. ) In this situation, I was able to tread water more efficiently, but was still getting tired. I could not swim against the tide and kept calling those two individuals on the boogie boards to come to me.
I feel had they not done that, you would not be reading this. But this is not the purpose of this letter. I do not have a feel for the amount of time it took before the boogie board people finally got to me. I was probably 100-150 yards off shore. My legs were so tired, all I could do was hang on when they got there. Since they had been on the boogie boards since near the beginning of the scenario, they were not too fatigued. There was a minimal effort to try to make it back to shore, but it was obvious to me those attempts were a waste of energy as the tide was more than capable of keeping us out. Hatteras Island Rescue had been called out and launched a jet ski with one of your sleds behind it. The girl with us was able to get out of the water and get on the jet ski. The other guy pulled himself way up on the sled. I was so fatigued, I could only pull myself half way up to sled. My point is this – if I had to get on the jet ski, I wouldn’t have been able to. My energy had been so depleted, latching on to the hand holds of your sled was about all I could do. But that was enough. With just my torso on the sled, the jet ski pulled us all back to shore.
I have reaffirmed which end of rescue I wish to remain on. I will have rope and flotation handy in all future water outings. But most of all, I want to thank you for your design. I can appreciate excellent design work on any type of equipment, but in this case, your design was exceptionally appreciated personally. I thank God, the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, and your sled for saving my life.
Saying thank you is one thing, but I would like to be able to do more. Please look in your records which sled Hatteras Island Rescue purchased from you. I spoke with them and said they love it and would like to have a second one. I would like to purchase that for them. Please let me know how to go about this. I do not want any cost incurred by them. I just want it to show up over there with my thanks.