Jakob Thompson

A 35-year-old woman entered the Boynton Inlet near Ocean Ridge, Florida, on Nov. 30, 2023. The inlet is flanked by seawalls making exiting the water extremely difficult. Additionally, a strong, outgoing tide was carrying her rapidly toward the Atlantic Ocean. This location was known for high water velocities and according to a local fire lieutenant, is “one of the most dangerous inlets in South Florida.” The woman struggled to swim in the 17-feet-deep water. High school student Jakob Thompson, 17, from Lantana, Florida, was nearby when he saw a group of people unsuccessfully trying to help the woman. He drove to the scene, removed his shirt, took a running jump from the seawall, and landed feet-first in the water. He swam about 90 feet to the woman, intercepted her, and secured her around the chest. She was breathing heavily and nearly exhausted, but she did not struggle. Jakob then towed the woman with one arm back to the same seawall, which was now more than 200 feet from where he jumped into the water. He held her to the wall until two men responded to pull her to safety atop the wall. Jakob then exited on his own. First responders arrived and took the woman to a hospital. Jakob had minor cuts on his hands and feet from the barnacles covering the seawall.