MRSA, Staph, Hepatitis amongst illnesses contracted by surfing post-rains
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 March, 2015 - San Clemente, California - Surfer Timmy Turner nearly died after an aggressive staph infection attacked his brain. Chris O'Connel had a cut on his arm and went in Mission Bay, San Diego after a rain event. 3 operations and 1Ž2 weeks in the hospital saved his life. A long-time Surfrider Legal Issues Team member nearly had to have his foot amputated after a blister (and subsequent surfing) turned into a nasty MRSA infection.
These are just a few stories of people who became seriously ill from being in the ocean after a storm.
Surfrider has been working for decades to alert beach users and community officials about water quality problems and to ensure that people know when it is safe to surf or swim in the ocean through their Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) water testing program.
Surfrider volunteers are becoming the next generations of ocean stewards and citizen scientists while making sure you know how safe your beach's water really is:
Students in Erin Ashley's Environmental Science class at Tamalpais High School in Marin County are collecting weekly water samples and bringing the samples to school with them to process in a new BWTF lab. They have been out testing every week and expanding the coverage of the Marin County Chapter's water testing program.
The Coos Bay Chapter in Oregon teamed up with Bandon High School and science teacher Trent Hatfield to expand geographic coverage of the their Blue Water Task Force program. The program kicked off with a training session for students on how to collect, prepare and test water quality samples.
Blue Water Task Force continues to grow, with more labs testing more beaches everryday—a 30% increase in testing in only one year.