PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia man is being hailed a hero and is being honored for rescuing a struggling swimmer who was caught in the waves at a Wildwood beach.
A Monday afternoon trip to Wildwood for Tyree Ward ended with one of those in the right place at the right time moments.
“Just nobody but God would just put me there at that time. We were packing up to leave,” Ward said.
Around 7:30 p.m., a young woman ran up to Ward, hysterical and screaming.
“I’m thinking, alright, she’s just tripping,” Ward said,
The woman, Katie Stonehill’s friend, said the 20-year-old woman was drowning.
“I’m watching the waves roll. I don’t see anything at first, but then I see something bobbing,” Ward said.
Ward says, with the lifeguards gone for the day, he had no other choice but to run into the ocean and swim toward Stonehill.
“She really didn’t have any life. She was weak,” Ward said.
“I was thinking about how I’m only 20, I’m in college. This can’t be happening,” Stonehill said.
Stonehill said she thought she was going to die. But fortunately, Ward was able to bring her back to shore.
Medics then arrived and Stonehill is now home recovering.
“Right now, I’m feeling much better. The hospital said that I still have some water in my lungs,” she said.
Ward, a 31-year-old mechanic from Philadelphia, was honored by the Wildwood Fire Department.
“I’ve had a bunch of feelings I’ve never felt before,” Ward said.
“He was put in that spot for a reason,” Stonehill said. “I can’t say thank you enough.”