RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CBSLA.com) — Two men are being called heroes after rescuing a teenager from treacherous surf off the Palos Verdes coast over the weekend.
The ordeal, which was captured on camera, began after a trip to the coast to observe sea life took a dramatic turn. The teenager, who wished to remain anonymous, jumped into the water at a popular yet dangerous spot along the coast and quickly found himself struggling against powerful surf.
One of the party members, Gary Golding, is an experienced swimmer and attempted to reach the teen in the water at Sacred Cove off the peninsula. Golding, however, similarly found himself overwhelmed by rough seas.
“I get swept in from a wave,” Golding said. “Now I’m fighting for my life, and it was just like a big washing machine.”
The woman behind the camera, Hillary Swanson, caught the footage on a Go-Pro camera attached to her chest. She kept her eyes, meanwhile, on the victims throughout the event.
“I was really scared,” Swanson said. “I thought he had so much seawater in him that he was dead.”
Golding was able to pull himself out of the water, at which point another member of the party, Robert McNulty, a Burbank resident, gave the rescue a shot.
“He just happened to pop up at the right spot, right when the waves subsided for a second, and I don’t know, I just went in,” McNulty said. “I climbed onto the closest rock, and somehow I got him up.”
Golding and McNulty, both certified in CPR, began chest compressions on the teen as the rest of the party went to flag down lifeguards.
“He started moving around a little bit, breathing and groaning,” Golding said. “I knew at that moment he was going to be OK.”
The victim was eventually taken to a hospital by a helicopter, where doctors credited the men with saving the teenager’s life.
A doctor, who is a reported relative of the victim, called Golding and McNulty on Monday to take the two men out to dinner.
Golding, meanwhile, shared a bit of advice for anyone thinking of braving rough surf to consider.
“As you’re out there on that ocean, (know) that it is more powerful than you realize, and use a lot of caution.”