Teen’s Ocean Rescue Inspiring

Teen’s Ocean Rescue Inspiring

You either have courage and good instincts or you don’t and clearly Michael Friedlander has both along with a caring soul.

It was Tuesday morning and Friedlander, a 14-year-old Montgomery County man, was waxing his board for an early morning surf session when he heard an inexperienced ocean swimmer reportedly screaming in distress. Without giving it any thought, he grabbed a board and headed straight to the ocean to help the man. In short order, he was able to save the man, who apparently had been pulled several blocks by the strong current at that time and was caught in a rip current.

“Michael grabbed his friend’s board and dove into the water and pulled the man in to safety. When my husband arrived on the beach, the man couldn’t thank him enough and said over and over ‘your son just saved my life,’” said Michael’s mother, Debbie.

Adding intrigue to this fairly banal rescue is the young teen’s backstory. About six years ago, he began suffering from frequent and mysterious seizures. After they stopped occurring, the concern over the situation led the family to purchase a condo in Ocean City because of Michael’s love of all things related to the water. Nowadays, Michael spends about 12 hours per day in the ocean surfing and bodyboarding.

Surely, this is background the stranger Michael saved is unaware of, but he should surely be grateful for it because the outcome could have not been as pleasant.

This is just one of these unique Ocean City summer stories and one of the reasons we relish serving and covering this area. In this example, we get to detail spontaneous bravery, while getting to hear a backstory that confirms things happen might just happen for a reason.

If Michael didn’t have those seizures years ago, his parents might never have had that carpe diem moment that resulted in them buying on the ocean — their son’s favorite place to be. The story may have been altogether different this week if that had not occurred. There could have been another tragedy highlighted by ignoring the critical public safety message to not swim in the ocean until the lifeguards are on duty.

Fortunately, that was not the case but it easily could have been if it weren’t for some good timing, a young teen’s instinctual courage and quick reactions.