VENTURA, Calif. - A 60-year-old man is being hailed as a hero after he rescued a 12-year-old girl and a 21-year-old woman from a rip current in the ocean off of Surfer's Knoll in Ventura.
At around 2 p.m. on Sunday, two sisters were swimming just off the beach when they were swept out by a rip current and pulled away and into the surf. The two frantically swam to get back to the beach but the current pulled them further and further away.
That's when 60-year-old Fillmore resident Chris Woodard sprung into action. Woodard was walking his dog on the beach when he saw the sisters struggling. He ran into the water fully clothed and swam out to save the girls.
Woodard was able to fight through the current and reach the younger sister. The younger sister made her way back to shore and Woodard went back to reach the older sister. He swam farther out and located the woman who was face down and unconscious. He brought the woman back to show and began attempting to resuscitate her.
Eventually, paramedics arrived on scene and were able to give the woman advanced life support. She regained semi-consciousness and began breathing and was transported to the hospital by ambulance in serious condition. The 12-year-old was in mild distress and was also taken to the hospital.
Woodard was uninjured and praised for his actions.
Swimmers are always advised to swim where lifeguards are present and remember that rip currents can occur year-round. If you ever find yourself in a rip current, swim parallel to the beach until you reach calm water.