An unidentified woman, 26, was rescued after 12 hours at sea off the coast of Marina Del Rey by a sailor, who chanced to notice her hand while admiring a pod of dolphins.
At the time of her rescue, she suffered from severe hypothermia and was described as having a gray skin tone due to her condition. She would have drowned if she had stayed in the 66-degree water much longer.
The woman was released from UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Hospital after three days of being treated for hypothermia.
On September 26, Khosrow ‘Koz’ Khosravani, a former UCLA information technology lecturer, 60, and a group of friends set off to sail from Marina Del Rey to Paradise Cove in Malibu on his boat, the SV Defiant.
His group noticed a pod of dolphins about three miles off the coast. As the animals crossed in front of the bow, Khosravani kept track of them.
Surprisingly, it was the professor’s first trip aboard the boat he had recently purchased. He’d also recently passed a boating safety course.
“Once they passed was when I saw a hand in the water,” he said. “It was about one city block away. At that point, I wasn’t sure I saw what I saw. Then I was sure it was a human as we got closer.”
He noticed the pale silhouette of a young woman in the dark blue sea as he approached. She was naked and clinging to life. Khosravani tossed her a flotation device, but she couldn’t reach it since she was too weak. As a result, he threw her a 70-foot buoy.
He knew he had to steer his boat into the wind to avoid colliding with the woman’s head.
After a second attempt, he was able to get the young woman to come near to the edge of the boat before hauling her aboard five minutes later. Khosravani said she was exhausted and could barely speak. He placed a blanket around the barely aware and chilly woman.
“I asked her if she is alone or if there are other people we should look for,” Khosravani recounts. “She could barely say her first name and she said she’s alone.”
Khosravani called the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), and crews were on the way to the sailboat in seven minutes to rescue the woman.
Capt. Matt Rhodes of the LACoFD’s ocean lifeguard unit heard the call from about six nautical miles away. The details were murky, but he managed to catch what he needed to know—3 miles from shore, a person was recovered from the water.
“Already, it felt like a weird one,” Rhodes recounted the rescue. “Why is there a person that far offshore?”
He stated rip currents sometimes drag swimmers a few hundred yards from the beach, but this was far further.
Officials said the woman had gone for a late-night swim alone.
She told her rescuers that she survived by floating on her back for 12 hours.
“Her vital signs were abnormal. She was weak and had a slow heart rate,” Rhodes said. “She had poor circulation from being so cold. She looked very exhausted.”
Khosravani was just relieved that he and his men had discovered her before it was too late, reported Daily Mail.
‘There is something in this universe, it just wasn’t her time,’ Khosravani said.
‘I consider myself maybe spiritual rather than religious. But the things that happened one after another, if all wouldn’t have aligned together, this lady wouldn’t be with us today.’