Three young paddleboarders rescued Sunday

Three girls made it back to shore safely after winds carried them 300 yards offshore in Emerald Bay on Sunday afternoon, according to an Orange County Harbor Patrol official.

Numerous calls started coming in at 3:18 p.m. about three girl paddleboarders, ages 10 to 12, drifting out to sea among 15- to 25-mph offshore winds, Harbor Patrol Sgt. Mike Robertson said.

Robinson did not know the girls' names. He said two drifted out to sea while one grabbed hold of a buoy.

Laguna Beach Marine Safety personnel paddled out to rescue the girl holding the buoy while an Orange County Sheriff's Department rescue boat took the two other girls safely to shore.

An adult male was also rescued with the two other girls who drifted out, according to Laguna Beach Marine Safety Capt. Tom Trager.

Paramedics checked them for any injuries and possible hypothermia, Trager said. He said these occurrences of paddleboarders drifting out due to strong winds are common.  

Other agencies assisting in the rescue included a Huntington Beach patrol helicopter and city of Laguna Beach personnel, Robinson said.

Robinson said some of the calls came from people on the private beach.

"When it's windy like that you don't paddleboard," Robinson said. "It's hard to paddle against the wind once you hit a certain point."

— Bryce Alderton


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