A portrait in courage

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 To the editor:

Thank you to the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary for rescuing my swimmer during the most difficult part of the rip current and the C3 – Cape Circumnavigation Challenge swim event. Your rescue of my swimmer, Claudia Rose, was a portrait in courage and skill. I was kayaker 16, and my swimmer was swimmer 16.

While we had already called in that we were leaving the course due to sea conditions, we could not know what would happen to us next. We thought we were headed toward the beach lighthouse to exit the race course while we were actually being pulled up along the coast and backward in to the waters known as the rips.

I knew we were in trouble when very suddenly the rip current went from being a half-mile, to a quarter-mile, and then less than a tenth of a mile away from us. It was at this point my swimmer and I noticed we were being separated by the wind and waves. Even with my kayak holding position my swimmer was unable to catch me swimming full out. I attempted to bring my swimmer aboard my two-person inflatable kayak but failed due to the mutual fatigue of myself and my swimmer. Then, the rips had us.

It seemed like all we could do was to have her (my swimmer) hold onto the nose of my kayak and to hope for the best. It was at this point when things looked the worst that your boat came to us on an intercept course and effected the rescue of my swimmer. When I saw you throw that life ring, I was relieved beyond words.

God Bless the USCG and the Cape May USCG Auxiliary.

P.S. Special credit should also go to Jason Malick and the race committee volunteers for an effective safety plan that when put into effect brought everyone safely together again.

Don Rasky
Kayaker 16
C3 – Cape Circumnavigation Challenge

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