James P. McCaskey helped to save George S. McLain, Sr., and George S. McLain, Jr., from drowning, Pensacola, Florida, July 22, 2008. While in wadable water of the Gulf of Mexico, McLain, 47, was knocked down by a wave and then carried seaward by a strong current. His son, George, 17, swam to him with a short surfboard. Both mounted the board but were unable to make progress toward shore. On the beach, McCaskey, 42, vacationing firefighter, became aware of the situation. Towing a short surfboard, he swam out to McLain and his son and placed McLain, who was nearly exhausted, on it. Making little if any progress against the current and overtaking waves, McCaskey kept McLain’s head out of the water until two lifeguards responded from shore. Using rescue aids for McLain and George, the lifeguards and McCaskey struggled to swim from the current, towing them. They reached shore safely. McLain and George required hospital treatment, McLain for having nearly drowned. McCaskey was fatigued, but he recovered.
82008 – 931882008-9318