It must have been around 5.15 on Tuesday 22 November. My spouse and I were having an afterwork drink, talking to some holiday makers from Minnesota in Breezes. All of us at the bar were watching three boys about 14 years old, dodging the 10 – 12 ft waves as they were breaking over the South Terminal. They were walking out as far as they could onto the pier and then running back when a big set broke.
Suddenly Karen, our new friend, said ‘Oh my God, they’re in’. We looked in horror as we saw two of the kids in the water being tossed around in the foam and the surf. The police were rung immediately and were informed of two boys in the water.
We then saw one boy literally get spat out by a huge wave which broke right on to the car park behind the South Terminal. The other boy was being swept out to sea, his head barely visible above the water. A police car soon arrived and the police were informed by a phone call that there was one kid still in the water.
We all stood and watched a very brave officer, a hero in our books, put on a life preserver, get another one and jump into the angry foam and surf. He swam to the young man, who at this point was being swept very close to the reef near the middle of George Town Harbour.
The rescue was a success. The exhausted officer managed to get the boy back to the beach safe and sound.
How did the boy repay him? He ran off. They all did. Yes, you could postulate that they were scared and embarrassed. What could have happened? A brave officer, probably with a wife and kids of his own, could have drowned trying to save the life of a silly, cocky teenager. I hope that that the kids have learnt from their mistake and that they understand the full implications of what their actions started.
We left Breezes, very emotional, butterflies in our stomachs. Some locals were in tears, as we all watched the drama unfold, some thanking God for the life of that kid, and blessing the officer who risked his life to jump into the water to save him.
Some teenagers, not all I know, need to realise that all actions have consequences, that what they do may not affect just them, but their families and everyone else around them. People care enough about them to take a risk, strangers, policeman, teachers. Would they take a risk for anyone? I hope they think twice before being so foolish again.
Thank you to the brave marine enforcement officer who jumped in to save the boy’s life. We all applaud you.