Gregory R. Thomson helped to save Margarita Preciado from drowning, Stinson Beach, California, May 16, 2009. While swimming in the Pacific Ocean, Margarita, 16, was pulled seaward by a very strong current and was unable to return against it. On the beach, Thomson, 50, tutor, became aware of her situation. He waded and swam out to Margarita, joining another man who had responded from the beach and was supporting her. Thomson grasped Margarita, who was nearly exhausted, by her lower body to help keep her afloat. The two men attempted to swim back to shore with her, but they made no progress against the current. Supporting her, they were carried farther seaward as they awaited help. After several minutes, two lifeguards, one with a paddleboard, reached them. Thomson and the other rescuer helped place Margarita on the paddleboard, and she was returned to the beach by one of the lifeguards. The other lifeguard remained with the men as they swam back to shore, resting en route with the aid of the lifeguard’s flotation device. Margarita required overnight hospital treatment, and she recovered. Thomson was cold and tired, and he too recovered.
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