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Pedro Hernandez rescued a woman caught in strong current off Madeira Beach Sunday

8:01 PM, May 28, 2012   |    comments
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Madeira Beach, Florida -- The opening along John's Pass by Madeira Beach is known for its strong currents. There are even several signs posted warning swimmers and if one's not careful, they can easily get caught up in it.

That's just what happened to an elderly woman Sunday afternoon. Luckily for her, a 15-year-old boy came to her rescue.

"There were strong waves. Not as wavy as now, but a strong current," said Elizabeth Hernandez.

The currents were strong enough to keep the Hernandez family out of the water Sunday afternoon. While Elizabeth Hernandez took in the sun and her husband, Pete, and son, Pedro, played paddle ball, she noticed trouble about 100 feet away in the water.

"I glanced over saw this woman swimming towards the beach, struggling. I saw her turn over on her back, water over the top of her," said Elizabeth.

By the time the Hernandez family saw the woman struggling in the water, she was out across from the rocks along the Pass.

Elizabeth called on Pete and Pedro to go help and they took off over to the rocks. Pedro, 15, didn't think twice and jumped in the water. By the time he got to her, the strong current had taken her out to the center of the Pass.

"She was struggling, speechless and had no energy. When I got to her, I told her I was here to help and she said 'thank you'. I knew she was alive from then on," Pedro said.

With help from a couple on a jet ski, Pedro brought the elderly woman to safety.

"It's the most courageous act a teenage boy can do. I'm so proud of him," Elizabeth said.

"I hope in the future if I'm in the same situation someone will do the same for me," Pedro said.

Madeira Beach Fire Department can't release the woman's identity but said she is doing fine. Sunday's rescue is a reminder as we enter this summer season to be extra careful and pay attention to the warnings posted along the beach.

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