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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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June 18, 2010     The Catalina Islander
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June 18, 2010
 

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Page 6 The CATAUNA ISLANDER Friday, June 18, 2010 PLAY Preschool completes their graduation with the song "Rainbow Round Me." ~= ~-7: or dan@cinews.us Avalon High senior was finishing his first day on the job when an accident caused a boat to flip, leaving a man trapped inside. By Tatiana Resetnikov Dock boy Javier (Sam) Zayas, 17, rescued a man who was pinned under a boat after midnight on Saturday, May 29 The boating accident occurred just as Zayas was finishing his first day on the job Zayas "selflessly jumped into the cold, dark waters outside of the Catalina Yacht Club to help a member in distress," said Sheryi Fipp, a club member and witness to the accident "Sam had his shirt off and was in the water before any- one else had a chance to react," she said The Catalina " Yacht Club has approximately 180 families as members "Dock boys" are hired every summer to assist club mem- bers on and off their boats somewhat in ............... the~hion of hote As the evening was winding down, Zayas was about to get off work "It was 12:15 in the morning when everyone started to empty out of the club We were helping people onto their tenders and then this guy j is home We would like to offer our sincere thanks to the staff at the Catalina Medical Center emergency room, Avalon Fire Department, Catalina Trans- portation, Mercy Air and their crew, and all of the wonderful people in Avalon and Overtown for their loving thoughts, prayers; call, cards and support. They definitely made a huge impact all Allan's recovery from a life threatening emergen- cy. Thank you from our hearts. Javier Zayas Allan & Laurie Carter and Family of his dinghy," he said Sheryl Fipp said she was standing a short distance away when her husband Tom Fipp grabbed her to assess the situa- tion As she ran over, she could hear in the darkness that one of the skiffs had its "throttle locked in near full speed position," she said. "The driver tried to swing out toward the water to avoid hit- ting anything, but the boat did a U-turn and careened into another vessel The boat flipped over and the occupant was trapped under the dark water." "The driver of the boat was an expert yachtsman, but there are times when something happens so: quick- ly' that knowledge does not help and the situation is out of your hands. "He didn't have time to hit the kill switch or anything," Fipp said Out of concern the Yacht Club is trained to not interfere in emergency situations. This, however, was an excep- tion. Zayas said that when he saw the man get pinned under his boat, "I jumped in and grabbedthe guy and threw him onto another din- ghy nearby. We flipped his boat and killed the etigine. His hand was bleeding because the engine was still running, so I think he cut his hand on the blades. Then we both tried to warm up as quickly as we could because it was really cold." Harbor Patrol officers were quickly on the scene and made sure that the man was uninjured. "We stopped the bleeding and applied pressure to his cut hand, but he was okay to go back to his boat," Fipp said. "The Yacht Club is proud of having a very clean record. Accidents are very rare and safety is a prime concern. We all feel like family and care about each other. My own son was a dock boy for six years," Sheryl Fipp said. Zayas laughed when asked how long he had been working at the Club when the accident hap- pened. "It was my first day! It was .12:30 at aaight!" Zayas is entering his senior year at AvalOn High School. He said he used to work at Pete's Caf6, but had heard that the yacht club had programs to help kids stay in school. He plans to go to college and study massage therapy after he graduates. Catalina Island Yaacht Club officials expressed their deepest appreciation for Zayas and his quick thinking. ! j