FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A surf instructor jumped into action Thursday morning after witnessing a swimmer in distress off Fort Lauderdale Beach.
According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials, the good Samaritan spotted the swimmer going underwater just before 7:50 a.m. in the area of 2000 N. Ocean Blvd.
Dutch Schorn, the surf instructor who jumped in the water to save the swimmer, told Local 10 News that he sees the man swimming in the water almost every morning, but knew that something was wrong when he couldn’t spot him.
“Every time I would drop off some board, I’d go unload and pick up some more boards and I’d check on him, every single time. The last time, I was up there for a minute or two and I came back, and I didn’t see him,” Schorn said.
First responders said the surf instructor paddled a surfboard out to the “partially submerged victim, secured him on the board while attempting to keep his airway out of the water, paddled back in and immediately began CPR on the beach and shouted for help.”
Schorn said he called 911 as he was performing CPR on the victim and multiple units from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to the scene.
“Fortunately, off-duty Fort Lauderdale lifeguards were participating in physical training before work in the area and jumped into action,” a spokesperson for the fire department said. “These personnel notified on duty Ocean Rescue personnel of the incident and also assisted on the scene. The Ocean Rescue Lifeguards began doing CPR until the Fire Rescue units arrived on scene.”
The victim was transported to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition.
No other details were immediately released.