For nearly fifteen years, the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol in conjunction with Morro Bay Fire Department have been using Personal Water Craft (PWC) as a crucial part of their water rescue program. Currently the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol has two Kawasaki Ultra LX PWCs in service. They are stored at the Harbor Patrol dock and ready for quick deployment.

The PWCs are used in everything from surf rescues and back-bay mud rescues (people in kayaks or canoes stuck in the mud at low tide), to medical aids on the coastline that are difficult to access by land. Some of the more unique responses include emergency response to a shark attack victim and water safety for a black bear at Morro Rock.

Radio Communication helmetAn effective rescue is critically hinged on clear, concise communication but many factors such as weather, engine noise and emotions can hinder quality communication. An Australian company called JetRescue manufactures a specialized rescue helmet with a jawbone mic receiver, which is wired into the helmet and plugs into a handheld radio in a protective case. The jawbone mic works by sound vibrations being transmitted into the wearer’s jaw, which can be heard clearly even while using earplugs in a noisy environment.

The recently formed nonprofit, “Friends of the Harbor Department” generously purchased two JetRescue helmets for the Morro Bay Harbor Department. The Friends of the Morro Bay Harbor Department was founded by Morro Bay resident, and chairman of the Harbor Advisory Board, Bill Luffee. About one year ago Luffee noted that there are organizations such as Morro Bay Friends of the Library, Friends of the Morro Bay Police, and Friends of the Morro Bay Fire Department that help raise contributions for these departments and that the Harbor Department could benefit from such an organization. Friends of the Harbor Department’s current goals are to help support outreach efforts and funding to further enhance training, equipment and harbor services. The FHD is currently looking for members.

If you interested in being part of FHD please contact Bill Luffee at 805-550-9250.

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