Lifeguards Recognize Civilians for Heroics on Orange County Beaches

Everyday people come to the rescue of a baby and a paralyzed surfer.

Al Pepito, Mrs. Watson, Patrick Watson, CSLSA President Michael A. Beuerlein. Photo credit Robert Moore.
Al Pepito, Mrs. Watson, Patrick Watson, CSLSA President Michael A. Beuerlein. Photo credit Robert Moore.
The California Surf Lifesaving Association honored three civilians for life-saving heroics. Here are their stories:

Connor Reeves saved the life of a Huntington Beach surfer who had been struck by a wave and paralyzed face-down in the surf in March.

"Connor noticed a surfer face-down in the water attached to a surfboard by its leash. Using his Junior Lifeguard training, he yelled for help, and worked toward establishing an airway by rolling the surfer over," according to the inscription on his award.

The surfer gained an airway and told Connor he couldn't move his arms or legs. Connor stabilized the surfer with a surfboard until further medical attention could arrive, the award says.


Father-son team Patrick and Danny Watson were at Aliso Park Beach in Laguna Beach rescued an infant from being washed away in the surf. It was May 26, 2013 and a strong wave knocked the baby girl out of her mother's arms.

"Mr. Watson and his son recognized the dangerous situation and responded immediately by jumping in the surf, locating the baby and brought her safely to shore," his award reads.

Both Patrick's and Danny's quick actions saved a life that day, and his bravery brings honor to lifesaving, the awards say.


"Lifeguards are trained to rescue people from peril everyday. That's their job," said Michael A. Beuerlein, president of the CSLSA, who presented the awards at a ceremony Thursday in Seal Beach. "But when civilians put their lives at risk in an extraordinary display of bravery, it is important that we recognize those whose actions make the difference between life and death."


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