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Sailor rescues woman swept into sea off LA coast last month

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A newly qualified sailing enthusiast in California rescued a woman who was about to drown after being dragged into the sea and stranded in the water for 12 hours when he saw her hand while observing a pod of dolphins.

On September 26, Khosrow “Koz” Khosravani, 60, and a group of friends planned to sail his boat, the SV Defiant, from Marina Del Rey to Paradise Cove in Malibu.

During their trip, Khosravani, a former UCLA lecturer in information technology, saw a pod of dolphins and decided to deviate from the route to get closer to the mammals.

But then he noticed something unusual.

“I saw a hand,” he said. “If it hadn’t been for the dolphins, I would never have seen this lady who had only a few minutes to live.”

Captain Khosrow Khosravani aboard his boat, SV Defiant

After being stuck at sea for 12 hours off the coast of Marina Del Rey, an unidentified woman was rescued last month by sailor Khosrow Khosravani (left and right) who happened to see her hand as she marveled at a pod of dolphins

At the start of the voyage, Khosravani, who had become a certified sailor weeks earlier after taking courses with the American Sailing Association, taught everyone on board what to do in an emergency.

“I told them these things will never happen, but it’s good to know,” he told KTLA. “Well, 30 minutes later they needed all the training.”

After getting close to the unknown woman, Khosravani threw out a propellant, but then realized she was too weak to use it. So he threw her a buoy with a 70-foot rope.

Five minutes later, after a second attempt, he managed to get the young woman close to the side of the boat before pulling her aboard. Khosravani said she was naked, exhausted and could barely speak.

He wrapped the barely conscious and ice-cold woman in a blanket.

“I asked her if she is alone or if we should find other people,” Khosravani says. “She could barely say her first name and she said she was alone.”

The unidentified woman was wrapped in blankets and towels on the boat while awaiting rescue from the lifeguard.  She is said to have nearly died of severe hypothermia after going for a late night swim on the night of September 25th

The unidentified woman was wrapped in blankets and towels on the boat while awaiting rescue from the lifeguard. She is said to have nearly died of severe hypothermia after going for a late night swim on the night of September 25th

Khosravani contacted the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), and within seven minutes, crews reached the sailboat and rescued the woman.

Matthew Rhodes, who is a lifeboat captain for LACoFD Ocean Lifeguard Division, was part of the rescue mission after receiving a mayday broadcast. The US Coast Guard said the SV Defiant “picked up a person from the water about three miles from Paradise Cove.”

“It was pretty bleak conditions,” Rhodes later said of the situation, adding that the water in the Pacific Ocean that day was 66 degrees. “We got out as quickly as possible. We transferred a 26-year-old woman from their sailing vessel to our lifeboat.’

Officials said the woman had gone swimming alone late at night when she was pulled two and a half miles offshore.

At the time of her rescue, she was suffering from severe hypothermia and was described as having a gray complexion due to her condition.

She told her rescuers she survived by floating on her back for 12 hours.

“Her vital signs were abnormal. She was weak and had a slow heartbeat,’ Rhodes said. “She had bad circulation because she was so cold. She looked very exhausted.’

LA County Fire Department lifeguards respond to Khosrow Khosravani's call to rescue the female swimmer, who is believed to have been in the water for 12 hours.

LA County Fire Department lifeguards respond to Khosrow Khosravani’s call to rescue the female swimmer, who is believed to have been in the water for 12 hours.

The woman also described how she became disoriented as the nighttime current drove her adrift.

Khosravani was just glad he and his crew had found her before it was too late.

“There’s something in this universe, it just wasn’t her time,” Khosravani said.

“Perhaps I consider myself more spiritual than religious. But the things that happened one after the other, if everything hadn’t lined up, this lady wouldn’t be with us today.’

The woman was released from the hospital after being treated for hypothermia for three days at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Hospital, officials said.

Khosravani said he has not had any contact with her but will contact her when she is ready.

Dailmaily.com has reached out to both the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Khosravani for comment.

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