Friday, 14 August 2009 00:00
Michael Rainer, a resident of Plainview, rescued a man during a riptide on Aug. 2 at Nickerson Beach.
According to Rainer, he was jumping the waves in rough water. While he was out there, he saw three people much further out splashing around. He knew something was not right, so he swam over to them and asked if everything was all right - all three of them said no.
At that point, one of the guys started swimming back to shore, according to Rainer. “The other guy who was much bigger than myself kept going under water,” he said. “I was able to get him on his back and I put my arm around his neck and started to swim in.”
Rainer said he was swimming as hard as he could, but he wasn’t making any progress. “I kept reassuring the guy that everything was going to be all right and not to panic,” said Rainer. “I was getting pretty tired at this point so the other person that was out there took over and I was beginning to get nervous.”
Rainer then attempted to signal a lifeguard on the beach, but when he looked up, he said that all he saw was the back of the waves and couldn’t even see the beach.
“I looked over and I saw the guy going under water again,” said Rainer. “I grabbed him and started swimming again. The next thing I knew, there were three lifeguards with the red buoys with us.”
The lifeguards told everyone to relax because we were in a bad riptide and handed everyone a flotation device.
“Once I got my strength back, I was able to swim back to shore on my own. When I made it back to the beach everybody was clapping and patting me on the shoulder,” said Rainer, a local hero.