Thread: AWA Member: Don Curry
08-12-2008, 02:20 PM #1
AWA Member: Don Curry
AWA K38 H2O Responder DON CURRY
By Shawn Alladio
Don Curry is a big wave charger and a personal watercraft boat owner. He is also a K38 alumni specializing in water rescue, why is that? He's a big wave towsurfer, Don uses his Waverunner with his tow partner Ed Guzman to get into waves that are too large and fast to paddle surf into. So he and Ed take turns riding the big waves on his Linden Towboards, due to this activity their water rescue skills are often put to the test under extreme conditions.
Ghost Tree is the famous Lone Cypress on 17 Mile drive in Pebble Beach, mainly known for its world class golf course and high end lifestyles, it also embraces one of the Emeralds of the big wave surfing culture at Pescadero Point.The collective ocean comes alive when Ghost Tree gets a significant enough swell to bring out the spirit of the Pacific, Ghost Trees has become the dragon and the beast of freight trains averaging fifty feet tall, but it's not the only active surf break in the region, there are many diamonds piercing the beautiful coastline that not only tourists can appreciate, but surfers often celebrate.
On February 9, 2008, another winter swell arrived in Carmel, and the ocean was waking up, Don was already waiting. "I was on my Waverunner motoring over to shoot some friends surfing Carmel Point when I came upon a yacht on the rocks in Stillwater cove at Pebble Beach during the ATT golf pro-am. The owner of the boat parked on the wrong side of the cove and the swell came up during the night, the 46' Hunter was getting pounded on the inside at Ghost Tree." Says Don.
Curry explains further; "The Vessel Assist was there the next morning trying to pull it off the rocks but the swimmer with the rope couldn't fight the current to get to the boat. When I arrived the Captain waved me down and asked me to rescue his guy at the end of the rope. He was so out of breath he could barely get on my Lifesled, I dropped him off at the rescue assist boat and went in to survey the sailboat."
08-12-2008, 02:20 PM #2
After ten minutes I came back to see if the captain had a plan. I told him I did and proceeded to get his guy on the back of my PWC holding on to the rope while I drove him to shore next to the boat. A lifeguard, Kevin Brady was there to help. Another couple of hours and the hull would have been taking on water and 150 gallons of diesel fuel would have been in the cove', explains Curry.
NOAA is responsible for the resource management of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was designed in response to oil drilling and spills. The recent Cosco Buscan oil spill highlighted a lot of the environmental concerns associated with marine life. Stricken and grounded vessels are another concern not only of the USCG, and local authorities as well as NOAA. Scott Kathey replies to a forward from Don Curry with the photos he took during the incident:
'I wanted to send you a note thanking you for your assistance in getting the swimmer and tow line to the BOBBY MCGEE for a speedy recovery of the sailboat. Had the boat remained on the shoreline a couple more hours, there's a good chance it would have never sailed again and salvage would have been very different in nature. Your willingness to help out and quick action certainly helped make the salvage a success. I've attached a couple of photos for your scrap book. Thanks again, Scott." Mr. Kathey is the MBNMS Federal Regulatory Coordinator
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