Surfers helped rescue two children after the boat they were on capsized in the Ventura Harbor, and the whole incident was caught on video.
The boat overturned on Saturday afternoon, when the vessel entered the harbor the incorrect way, approaching a sand trap, Harbormaster John Higgins said.
The waves were high enough that day to cause the vessel to overturn, Higgins said Monday.
Videographer Chris Papaleo was shooting footage of a surfer friend when the boat rapidly approached and began to tip.
"He just got really close to the surf and he had a little child in the front of the boat. They started to tip over and the little kid went overboard first,” Papaleo said. “The dude driving just completely lost control, almost hit my friend.”
Papaleo's friend, Eithan Osborne, and fellow surfer Micky Clarke were in the water and saw the boat overturn.
The boat's skipper, whom the surfers believed to be the father of the two children on board, quickly popped up in the water, along with one of the children.
But the surfers didn’t immediately see the other child. Osborne said he pushed the boat down on one side and the child emerged from the other side. Osborne got the boy on his surf board.
The first boy, meanwhile, grabbed on to the leash of Clarke’s surfboard and held on while the surfer paddled in to land. The boy clutched the leash until they were in just a few inches of water, Clarke said.
“The current was ripping so hard … everyone was getting sucked out,” Clarke said.
The skipper, who didn't appear to be wearing a life jacket, was able to get on top of the overturned boat and stayed there, the video shows. The Ventura Harbor Patrol responded and took the man on board a patrol boat. No one was hurt.
A man on a stand-up paddleboard also helped in the rescue, according to a post on surfing website Surfline, which talked to both of the teen surfers.
Higgins said a routine boating accident investigation showed there no sign of recklessness or negligence, only human error.
Red buoys guide vessels into the main channel harbor entrance, but the operator of the boat that overturned went the wrong way.
The boat operator likely wasn’t familiar with the Ventura Harbor, the harbormaster said.