Tyler Badet

An 18-year-old man found himself amid crashing 10-foot waves threatening to pound him into seaside cliffs in San Diego while attempting a Jan. 6, 2021, rescue of a couple who had entered the Pacific Ocean at a cove and struggled in the choppy water. High school student Tyler Badet of San Diego was surfing nearby when he spotted a couple struggling to stay afloat in the V-shaped cove where the waves slammed into the rocky cliffs and circulated creating a whirlpool effect. In the cove the 59-degree water was 9 feet deep. He paddled to them, and, instructing the man to hold onto the nose of the surfboard, moved the man to an area of the cove where he could exit the water. Badet paddled back to the woman and did the same, but she panicked and would not let go of the surfboard to exit the water. Waves crashed around them, and, after two more attempts to get the woman to safety, Badet paddled into the center of the cove and waited for help. Lifeguards arrived, entered the water, swam to the woman, and took her to safety. Badet paddled about 50 feet where he could exit the water safely.

Carnegie Hero Tyler Badet used his surfboard to guide a man and then a woman to a low-lying cliff so they could exit treacherous water swirling in a San Diego cove. Photo by Scott Hopkins/SD News.