By Jake Howard
As part of the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation’s efforts to make the ocean a happier, more stoked place to surf, the foundation recently provided a handful of aspiring young surfers with scholarships to attend a training session held by the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group (BWRAG).
Hosted by San Clemente’s own big-wave champ, Greg Long, the course focused on teaching first aid and rescue skills. The idea is that the more surfers there are prepared for an emergency, the safer our lineups are.
Ben Brantell, a 13-year-old student at Shorecliffs Middle School, was a recipient of one of the scholarships and attended the training. Learning things such as CPR, rescue breathing and how to treat a cervical injury, it was most definitely time well spent.
“The ocean is not just about surfing, and bad things could happen anytime to anyone,” Brantell said after the BWRAG course was over. “It has given me more confidence in my surfing, because I feel calm, and feel like I could help someone in need.”
Besides getting dialed in with some lifeguard skills, Brantell just finished competing in his first-ever U.S. Open of Surfing Junior Men’s division. It was a great experience and will serve him well as he continues his journey in the sea.