San Diego Area SAR Swimmers Compete for Top Honors during Surface Line Week 2014
SAN DIEGO – Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmers from ships homeported at Naval Base San Diego took to the pool at the Adm. Prout Field House Aug. 13 as part of the Surface Line Week (SLW) 2014 competition.
The SAR event consisted of pull ups, a 500 meter swim, and a 400 meter buddy-tow where the swimmers demonstrated their life-saving skills in the water.
Taking first place in the competition was Seaman Jordan Porcella from the guided missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59). Second place was awarded to Religious Programs Specialist 3rd Class Ronald Owen from the guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62). Third place honors went to Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jeff Deguide from the guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102).
“The hardest part for me was staying steady on the freestyle,” said Porcella, who has served on board Russell for nearly a year in the ship’s deck department. “I always catch up on the buddy-tows, but thankfully I was ahead at that point anyway.”
Porcella, a native of Chino, California, said he has never participated in SLW before this year and is enjoying the opportunity to compete against other commands in the San Diego area.
“This is my ninth event so far,” said Porcella, who says he has to stay in shape to be a good SAR swimmer. “I go to the gym every day, like everybody else just simple weightlifting stuff, I run three times a week and I do ocean swims every weekend.”
For Owen, the competition proved to be extremely difficult because Chancellorsville has been underway and he said he didn’t have time to prepare as much as he had wanted to prior to the event.
“I try to do cardio three times a week, and then weightlifting two times, then have a rest day, then do a mixture of both,” said Owen, a native of Freemont, California. “I also try and eat healthy.”
Owen said he has been assigned to Chancellorsville for a little more than three years and has been a SAR swimmer for most of the past year. While he has never competed in SLW prior to this year, he said is competing in multiple events in 2014.
“I’m doing flag football, volleyball, competitive swimming, SAR, the RHIB race, and the push-up and pull-up competition,” said Owen. “Go Chancellorsville!”
SLW, sponsored by the staff of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, runs through Aug. 15, and features a series of activities dedicated to friendly competition in a variety of professional and sporting events.
SLW athletic events include: a 5K run, basketball, billiards, bowling, dodge ball, flag football, golf, push-up/pull-up endurance, and cross fit. There will also be a chili cook-off and a salsa cook-off on the final day of competition.
Professional SLW events include: cake decorating, a damage control marathon, lathe work, marksmanship, medical diagnosis/stretcher bearer race, moboards, photo competition, rescue swimmer, a Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) race, sailing, seamanship, ship handling, valve packing, visual communications and welding/cutting.
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