ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- Lifeguards performed dozens of rescues over the weekend on St. Johns County beaches but one rescue was done by a man who probably was not a lifeguard.
Ken Beckstrom, who witnessed the rescue, called it phenomenal.
Beckstrom and his wife were walking along St. Augustine Beach Saturday around dusk when they saw a commotion.
"We saw there were a few people in the water and one very far out," he recalled
Beckstrom said a woman was about 100 yards off the coast, screaming.
"She was hollering, 'help me, help me,'" Beckstom noted.
And that's when one young man broke away from the surf and swam all the way out to her.
"Finally we saw the two of them together and he had her and worked their way back in, in what seemed like a long time," Beckstrom said.
The woman appeared to okay, he added "she seemed shaken but she seemed fine."
And the young man, who Beckstrom says may be in his 20's, rested for a minute. Then the man stood up and left. "He gets up and walks off," Beckstrom said. "I'm wondering if anyone knows who he was."
All this, just a Beach Safety Week kicks off and the beaches are getting busier. New this year in St. Johns County, all beach lifeguard chairs – not just entrance ramps – are now flying flags indicating the water conditions to warn swimmers.
And as for untrained individuals rescuing swimmers, St. Johns County Fire-Rescue officially does not endorse it. However, Jeremy Robshaw with Fire Rescue said, "We have a lot of people who live on these beaches and a lot of surfers who few up here and are strong in the ocean. We do see a lot of times when these individuals provide assistance."
As for this mystery man who rescued the woman, St. Augustine Beach Police don't have his name in their report, but Beckstrom would like know it… just to commend him.
"What he did that day was phenomenal and so selfless. He went out there, with no flotation devices, no protection for himself, and he just brought her back," Beckstrom said.