OCEANSIDE (NEWS 8) – A group of North County lifeguards were honored Thursday night with the Medal of Valor for saving the life of a boater who wound up stranded on a jetty last October.
Six Oceanside Lifeguards helped save a bleeding man stranded on the Del Mar jetty with waves eight to 14-feet high.
The man’s boat had capsized and he was wedged in a six-foot crevasse.
“The rocks and waves slamming on top of it. It was high tide – it was an extreme rescue. We had to pull back several times. The waves were bashing into us,” said Lt. Emile Lagendijk.
After an hour-and-a-half, the team of emergency workers pulled the man to safety. A Camp Pendleton Lifeguard and an Oceanside police officer also assisted in the rescue.
“You can never train for the scenario we had on the jetty, but you can prepare and pre-plan,” said Lt. Lagendijk.
Their heroic efforts were recognized during the annual Elks Lodge and American Legion Law and Order Awards, Thursday night.
Each receiving the Medal of Valor which lifeguards said they will wear with pride.
“I think for us to get recognized, we take a great pride in what we do and we take a huge amount of pride for the people we work with and we serve,” said Sgt. Mason Turvey, Oceanside Lifeguard.
The man who was rescued was injured but survived.
The Oceanside Lifeguards who were honored were: Tyson Cleveland, Victor Dhillion, Nicholas Kelley, Emile Lagendijk, Matthew Mattison and Dieter Swank.
From the Oceanside Police Department, Jonathan Hoover was honored, and Camp Pendleton Lifeguard, Marco Lagendijk was also honored Thursday night.
An Oceanside firefighter and a CHP officer were also honored with the Medal of Valor for two separate incidents during the Lilac Fire.