International Surf Festival a 501(c)(4) Non Profit Corporation

1987 Surf Festival Dinner Honorees

 

 

1987 Medal of Valor Honorees

 

Ocean Lifegaurd Specialist Craig Mattox

Craig Mattox was working as a deckhand aboard Baywatch Malibu when he spotted a fishing boat with 59 passengers aboard taking on water one mile off of Paradise Cove near Malibu. He could see (through binoculars) all the passengers standing up on the bow while the stern was quickly taking on water. The boat was sinking and the skipper did not know why.

 

But Mattox, also a longtime commercial diver, soon boarded the boat to look for the source of the flooding.  He first crawled below the deck to a storage room filled with four feet of water and thousands of live squid that had escaped from a collapsed bait tank.

 

While the Baywatch crew pumped the water from the room, Mattox searched for a valve opening into the ocean.  Mattox risked his life when he crawled below deck while the seawater continued to pour into the room.

 

Mattox found the failed valve but not the cause of the continued flooding.  He then dove into the ocean and found a found a drainage hole (normally above water) that was taking in water.  Estimating the size of the hole, Mattox carved a redwood plug to fill it as crew members continued to pump out the water.

 

The crew and the passengers were getting very panicky as boat was filling up with water a squid.  Finally Mattox was able to get the plug to block the incoming water and the boat was then safe.  Mattox’s quick action saved the boat and possibly the lives of the crew and 59 passengers onboard.

Ocean Lifeguard Bud Williams

Last January, Bud Williams was lifeguarding at Point Fermin in San Pedro when he spotted a 10-year old boy being swept out to sea.  Bud scaled a mossy 200-foot cliff to get to the rocky shoreline.

 

Williams then swam through 9-foot waves and 56 degree water to reach the child and two fully clothed, would be rescuers.  The lone lifeguard then hung on to three victims, while a patron at nearby Point Fermin Park called for help.

 

When a second lifeguard arrived, Williams swam the victims further out to rescue boat “Baywatch Cabrillo”, where they were pulled aboard.  The endangered three-some recovered from near drowning because of Williams’ “split-second” rush down the cliff and into the rough ocean.

Ocean Lifeguard Specialist Terry Yamamoto

 

On Easter Sunday Terry Yamamoto was on his day off checking out the surf at El Porto in Manhattan Beach.  He heard faint screams for help down the beach. At this point he spotted a child floundering in a heavy riptide while the boy’s family headed into the rough water after him.  Terry immediately raced three blocks down the beach to the drowning victim.

 

The fully dressed Yamamoto dove into the icy, spring-time water and, a short time later, grabbed the drowning child to shore.  At this point Terry swam back out to the boy’s father who sank beneath the water’s surface after putting a second child on his shoulders.  “I just kind of pushed them into the shore.  The rip was so strong there weren’t any waves” said Yamamoto.

 

A third child – terrified and on the verge of hypothermia was then pulled to shore by Yamamoto.  By the time paramedics took over, the chilled lifeguard was passing an oxygen mask back and forth between the sputtering children.

 

The off duty multi victim life-saving rescue was particularly valiant because it was performed single handily while fully clothed and without the aid of any rescue equipment. 

January, Bud Williams was lifeguarding at Point Fermin in San Pedro when he spotted a 10-year old boy being swept out to sea.  Bud scaled a mossy 200-foot cliff to get to the rocky shoreline.

 

Williams then swam through 9-foot waves and 56 degree water to reach the child and two fully clothed, would be rescuers.  The lone lifeguard then hung on to three victims, while a patron at nearby Point Fermin Park called for help.

 

When a second lifeguard arrived, Williams swam the victims further out to rescue boat “Baywatch Caee-some recovered from near drowning because of Williams’ “split-second” rush down the cliff and into the rough ocean.