There are no lifeguards at Ocean Beach because there shouldn’t be any swimming in that churn of frigid fast-breaking waves that can pull you under so fast that nearby beachcombers would never know it happened.
The moment surfer Tony Barbero spotted a flash of red t-shirt and a boy floundering in the icy water, he knew the kid was in big trouble.
Barbero, a 17-year-old high school student and firefighter’s son, powered through the waves, grabbed the boy and pulled him up on his surfboard. He rescued that boy on Wednesday and brought him to shore on his board, then turned to see the kid’s uncle bobbing face down in the waves. He left his board, dove back into the sea and swam out to pull in the uncle, unconscious and struggling for life.
Barbero is an authentic hero – and that’s not a term to be used lightly. He’s the ordinary guy, suddenly thrown into a life-and-death moment, who did everything right … and more.
“I wasn’t going to let that happen,” said Barbero, “Not on my watch.” Read the complete story here.
Photo caption: S.F. fire Capt. Joe Barbero puts his jacket on his son, Tony, who rescued two people Wednesday at Ocean Beach. Photo: Beck Diefenbach, Special To The Chronicle
Story courtesy of SFGate.com