The following was an entry in a young people's writing contest by Charles Hasse, a 16-year-old from Mission Bay High School. The contest entries were published in the Dec. 13, 1984 Reader.
Charles Hasse (left) in the Dec. 13, 1984 Reader
I ran down to the shore with my friend, Greg, ready to challenge the well known Marine St. waves.
I noticed how far the rip-current had carried me from the place I started at. I watched another bodysurfer catch a huge wave about 100 feet away from me. He was swimming far too slowly to catch and ride it correctly. He caught the wave at the top of its lip and went on to tumble over the pouring falls. At first, I thought it was funny, watching this guy mess up so badly. But, when he didn’t appear again, I began to worry. No one else was in the water except for me and him. I went to the exact spot where he was and scanned the water. Then, just to the right, about 10 feet from me, was this brown sphere floating in the water. Swimming closer to it, I noticed that the brown sphere was connected to a neck and arms! His head and arms were just floating on top, with his face under the water, just bobbing up and down in the ruff ocean. Turning the body over, I saw that the boy's face was tanned except for the purple bruise on his forehead. I took his head under my arm and dog paddled the two of us back to shore.
Since I was the only person at this end of the beach, I was going to have to do C.P.R. I proceeded to clear his mouth of water or any other substances. I then checked his pulse by pressing two fingers next to his adams apple. His blood was circulating! “O.K now, check for breathing.” There were no breaths.
“O.K. tilt the head back and blow into his mouth”. I went on to do that, but it wasn’t working! The air just blew back at me through his nose. I knew I forgot something, I had to plug his nose. Success, his lungs expanded! I kept up the breathing with a count “one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three — breathe . . . again, one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three — breathe”. Doubts began to fill my mind. I was wondering if this was ever going to work. Within the next minute, a crowd of people were surrounding me, just starring at me and this poor guy, laying there in his turquoise and yellow bathing suit. “Here, do you want me to take over?” “Yes, After this last breath — two-one thousand, three — breathe.” After I administered the last breath, this man about in his mid-thirties took over and continued C.P.R. I learned later that the man who took overs name was Kenny. He kept up about 5 more breaths then stopped. After all that work, the guy couldn’t be dead. Then Kenny said “He’s breathing on his own.”