Drowning victim who tangled with big waves off Venice Beach ‘has a fighting chance’ to recover

By Gary Walker

A surfer whose heart had stopped beating when dragged from Hurricane Marie-induced heavy seas yesterday at Venice Beach regained a pulse as he was transported to a local hospital.

The 27-year-old man, who has not been identified, was rescued from the water near the 2100 block of Ocean Front Walk, said Los Angles Fire Dept. spokesman Brian Humphrey. Firefighters and Los Angeles County Lifeguards responded to the rescue call shortly after 6 p.m. and performed CPR on the surfer, he said.

The man’s current condition is unknown, but “thanks to the effort by the lifeguards and our paramedics, I think he now has a fighting chance,” Humphrey said.

The Southern California Coastline is experiencing higher-than-normal swells due to hurricane conditions in the Pacific that have now been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The drowning victim was injured while trying to tackle an abnormally powerful wave, said L.A. County Lifeguards Section Chief Christine Linkletter.

“Conditions along the coast have been hazardous all week. We’re asking people to check with the lifeguards on site before surfing,” Linkletter said.

The National Weather Service is predicting southerly swells of five to seven feet along much of the coast through Friday.