LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
“I kept thinking, ‘I’ve never been this far out in the ocean before. I hope I’m not the third person pulled out by these riptides.’ Then I remembered something that Steve House, who was a lifeguard at the pool for years, always told us. He said if we were ever in the ocean in a riptide, to swim horizontally. I did that, and it started working,” Weaver said.
By the time Weaver reached a level where he could stand in the water, a group of people had already formed at the shoreline and lifeguards were on hand to assist the three people.
“We had to carry the woman in, and we got her on the beach and rolled her onto her side to the life-saving position so we could get out some of the water she’d taken in,” the Laurel native said. “Then the lifeguards came and put an oxygen mask on her and the ambulance came and took her to the hospital.”
The man rescued by Weaver said the woman was his 24-year-old wife and that the couple had been in the water when a strong current jerked them out to sea. While the two attempted to reach each other and swim back to shore, the large and frequent waves hampered their progress.
“I was scared for them and for myself,” Weaver said. “I’ve always loved the water and go swimming in the lake and was a lifeguard, but that was just at the pool. I tried to get the man to help me get us in but he was exhausted from fighting the riptide and he couldn’t do much.”
Weaver explained the lifeguard stations along the beach front were spaced out and the particular location where the couple was pulled out to sea was not near one of those stations. Fellow beach goers, he said, told him afterward they heard the man’s cries for help but either they were not confident enough to battle the currents or did not know what to do to help.