SEAL BEACH : Diving Into Drill That Hones Their Lifesaving Skills

Lifeguards were given the opportunity to jump into new roles as victims Friday during a swift-water ocean rescue drill.

Skills practiced during the drill are a "vital asset to the public in flooding conditions," Lifeguard Capt. Steve Cushman said. The lifeguards worked with a helicopter crew from the Orange County Fire Department.

Fire Capt. David Lopez said the two groups accomplished two types of rescue assists.

In the first, lifeguards lowered a harness into the water and lifted the victim to safety. The second method, known as a "live-bait rescue," involved lowering a rescuer into the water to help the victim.

"The more training I get, the more comfortable I feel when an emergency situation comes up," said A.J. Summers, a lifeguard who was among the seven "victims." "And when you're comfortable, you can deal with the situation effectively and efficiently."

Lopez said he hopes to schedule air operation rescue training with lifeguards from San Clemente and Dana Point later this month.

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