The riptide at Abalone Cove in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California would have claimed the life of a teenage boy if two men hadn’t intervened.
A group of people, including Gary Golding, Hillary Swanson, and Rob McNulty and his two children, spotted the boy being swept away by the current.
Golding, 46, proceeded to jump into the cove in an attempt to rescue the boy.
However, quickly realizing that the currents were stronger than he was, he, too, began fearing for his own life.
“At the point I really realized how helpless I was, and I was basically fighting for my life,” Golding recounted to KABC-TV.
McNulty then took action, diving in after the boy. By a stroke of luck, he was able to grab the boy and pull him to shore.
Golding had barely gotten out of the water by the time McNulty and the unconscious boy were onshore. McNulty recalls thinking that the boy was dead; he performed CPR on the boy until lifeguards arrived, at which point the boy regained consciousness.
The boy was airlifted and brought to the hospital, where he is currently in recovery.
McNulty suffered cuts to his legs during the rescue, but noted that the teenager’s doctor “said that if I hadn’t gotten to him within a minute more, he would have been dead.”