SAN DIEGO – Two people were pulled from the water Wednesday night near Sunset Cliffs in what lifeguards reported was one of the “scariest and most treacherous rescues” in recent memory.
At about 9 p.m., lifeguards responded to calls for help around the water in the area of Osprey Street and Froude Street, fire officials said. They found a man and a woman dressed in full street clothes in the water and immediately set out to rescue them, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Craig Newell.
The victims, described as being in their 20s, told investigators they were dropped off in the surf by two separate jet skis in a route that possibly began in Tijuana, Mexico, Newell said. Neither jet ski was located.
As they worked on the first rescue, Newell said the department received reports that there were more people in and around the water to the south, and a helicopter was brought in to provide assistance. Nobody else was found beyond the two victims, whose identities were not immediately disclosed.
Newell said Wednesday showed how “dangerous” it can be to be smuggled into the U.S. by boat and said the two people are “incredibly lucky to be alive tonight.”
“The surf is very large tonight,” he said. “The water is very cold. This is winter time and it’s dark. It’s a miracle they were even found. They were heard by someone. Thank goodness the lifeguards were close from Mission Bay. They were able to make an initial water rescue and get them secured, get them up on the rocks and get them up and evaluated by firefighters and paramedics.”
He added an investigation by Border Patrol will be required to verify details of Wednesday’s rescue.
Further information on the incident was not yet available.