If the victim is conscious, assist them in getting onto the
board, and have them lay prone in front of you. Instruct them to hold on tightly
as you return to shore. If the victim is unconscious, you will probably need to
dismount. Position the board between yourself and the victim, and use the board
as leverage to slide the victim onto the board. Keep the nose of the rescue
board headed toward shore and in a position perpendicular (90 degrees) to the
incoming waves. If the board is not kept at a 90-degree angle to the waves, it
will capsize the lifeguard and the victim.
Paddle the victim directly to shore if conditions permit. Upon
reaching shore, steady the board by placing your legs over the rails and holding
onto the victim's legs. Get off the board while maintaining control of both the
board and the victim. If the victim is unconscious or exhausted, kneel down and
slide your hands under the victim's armpits. Roll the victim off the board
quickly to avoid injury from the loose board. Stand up and support the victim
against your chest and move to a suitable location for assessment.
If the conditions will make it difficult to return the victim
to shore on the board, let the board loose, downwind or downcurrent, so it does
not interfere with the rescue. Return your victim to shore as you would in
completing a standard swimming rescue.