Harold T. Leach helped to save Margarito Garcia from drowning, Pacific Grove, California, November 8, 2009. Garcia and another man were in a 15-foot aluminum boat off Point Pinos on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean when the boat capsized in rough surf. They shouted for help, drawing the attention of Leach, 51, financial service company executive, and a friend, who were on a golf course on the shore in that area. Leach and his friend ran into the water and waded and swam toward the men, their course made difficult by high waves breaking among large rocks near shore and the coldness of the water. Garcia’s companion reached an exposed rock and clung to it, but Garcia floated face down about 300 feet from shore. Leach and his friend reached him, positioned him on his back, and then with difficulty retraced their course to shore, pulling him. Lifeguards arrived and rescued Garcia’s companion. Leach was fatigued and cold and had cuts to his legs from the rocks, but he recovered.
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