After entering the Pacific Ocean from a beach in a cove in the early morning of Jan. 10, a man struggled to swim as high, surging waves washed him toward a rocky bluff in La Jolla, Calif. Daniel Simonelli, 53, swim coach from San Diego, saw the man in distress.
As a bystander called 911, Simonelli removed his outer clothing and entered the 60-degree water, wearing swim fins. Navigating large, frequent waves, Simonelli grasped the man and guided him to a point away from the rocks.
Simonelli stayed with the man, and arriving lifeguards took the man to the shore via personal watercraft. Simonelli returned to the beach without assistance. Simonelli was not injured.