Two Coast Guard members helped rescue a man from drowning 20 yards off Wrightsville Beach Monday evening.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Forrest Jones and Fireman Kyle Boeckmann, boat crew members at Station Wrightsville Beach, were standing on the station pier at 8:25 p.m. when they heard nearby shouts for help.
The Coast Guardsmen grabbed a life ring and heaving line bag and ran 150 yards down the beach, where they found a group of people trying to rescue a drowning man from the water.
Jones and Boeckmann threw the life ring, entered the water, and carried the swimmer up to the beach.
He was unresponsive, so Jones prompted the man’s friends to call 911. Boeckmann instructed them on administering CPR, and after about five minutes, the man regained a pulse and consciousness.
Ocean Rescue Squad and Wrightsville Beach Police Department personnel arrived shortly thereafter to transfer the man to a higher level of care.
“This situation could have gone very differently if we weren’t in the right place at the right time,” Boeckmann said. Fortunately, we also have the first aid training we needed to help.”
“When we showed up, he didn’t have a heartbeat and wasn’t breathing,” Jones said. By the time we left, he was standing upright. It makes me feel good knowing we were able to help him.”