Sunday, January 04, 2009

Lifeguard failure? No, a hero!

It's pretty much accepted practice that our heroes are only given the grand title when they are successful, or when they die trying. Today, I read an article I found on, which ended in neither. Yet I come away astounded by the heroics the individual exhibited.

Austin Hearn, a lifeguard at a YMCA in New Jersey, happened to be riding his bike near a pond, when he witnessed a woman fall through the ice. He first fought to break the ice to create a path to the woman. When that proved impossible, he attempted to step out onto the ice to commence a reach rescue and fell in himself in waters over his head. Fortunately, there weren't two deaths that day, and Austin saved himself.

I'm guessing, Austin is kicking himself for not succeeding. Similarly, I imagine others may not give Austin the credit he deserves for trying. That's another tragedy, since to anyone who knows cold water, understands that Austin went over and above the call of duty. Oh, yeah, Austin wasn't on duty! He did it out of the goodness of his heart!

From a former lifeguard ... All the best Austin! May you have peace of mind.

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