At approximately 7:00 p.m. on August 31, I arrived at the Sunset Cliffs parking lot at the end of Osprey Street to watch the sunset along with many other onlookers. At approximately 7:30, the last of the sun had sunk. Soon thereafter, a person lying on a bodyboard was noticed in the water, drifting further and further out, waving a hand seemingly in distress from a distance of approximately 200 yards from the cliff’s edge.
Emergency calls were made and sirens wailed louder by the second. A lifeguard truck was the first to arrive in the parking lot. Lifeguards immediately offloaded rescue paddleboards from the vehicle's roof. One lifeguard made a walkie-talkie call while a police cruiser and fire truck pulled up to the parking lot.
The person in the water seemed calm, lying on his board. Instead of paddling out, lifeguards called for a boat rescue. Lifeguards in speeding rescue boat came on the scene from a northerly direction soon after the call. They overshot the bodyboarder’s location by at least 200 yards. Onshore rescue personnel called the boat and told them to do a U-turn to find their target.
After the boat made it to the bodyboarder, who wore only shorts, lifeguards appeared to toss him a rope. He was given a short tow toward shore, but then then he released the rope and began to come ashore under his own power. The lifeguards motored away.
After the bodyboarder arrived back on land, lifeguards made sure he was okay (and he was) and then they left.