OCEAN CITY – A trip to the beach turned into a memorable experience for one teen, who is being haled as a hero for saving a man’s life.
Around 8 p.m. last Friday, Kyle Mooney, 18, of Milford, N.J., was walking up the beach near the Inlet when he took action to save the life of an unidentified man who appeared to be bobbing in the water.
Mooney, who had just finished fishing off the Ocean City Inlet jetty, said he recalled seeing the same man walk down the beach 15 to 20 minutes earlier.
“He was in dress clothes when he walked down the beach,” he said. “I thought that was weird, but nothing suspicious.”
After leaving the jetty and walking up the beach, Mooney noticed the same man in the water.
“He wasn’t trying to swim or anything, so I walked up the beach and asked people nearby if he was okay,” he said. “One of them walked up onto the jetty because he was getting close to the rocks.”
Mooney said it soon became apparent that the man was in danger.
“At that point, I took everything out of my pockets and jumped in after him,” he said. “As soon as I got to him, a big wave hit us both and it pushed him to me, so I grabbed him from under his arms and started swimming back.”
While the man appeared to escape the ordeal unscathed, Mooney questioned the man’s motives for going into the water.
“I think he was suicidal,” he said. “When I was sitting with him on the beach while the police arrived, he kept saying ‘I belong out there, I belong out there …’ and he kept hitting the sand.”
Mooney said the following day he attempted to ask police about the man’s condition, but to no avail.
“They just said he was going to get the help he needed,” he said.
Mooney, who was visiting Ocean City with his grandparents, said he had no life-saving training or rescue experience, but was simply doing the right thing.
“I didn’t really think much about it,” he said. “I saw somebody who needed help, and I helped them.”
Mooney’s father, Craig Mooney, said he was not with his son at the time, but was amazed to hear the story.
“He was with his grandmother and grandfather at the time and they called me and said, ‘you will never guess what happened to Kyle.’ I thought he caught a great white shark or something,” Craig Mooney said. “He loves fishing. He eats, sleeps and breaths fishing.”
Craig Mooney said he was proud of his son for taking action.
“He put his life in danger to save someone else,” he said. “He’s a good soul and looks to help anyone. I call him Superman now.”