Teacher Chris Moffitt rescues teens from rough Surf City water

Chris Moffitt says he was fishing a little after 6 p.m. Sunday and Surf City lifeguards had left for the day. (6/30/14)

SURF CITY - A man who rescued two teens from rough waters off Long Beach Island says he was just in the right place at the right time.

Chris Moffitt says he was fishing a little after 6 p.m. Sunday and Surf City lifeguards had left for the day. Then, all of a sudden, a commotion erupted.

"I heard a lot of screaming," he says. "It sounded really panicked...I ran past the mom and asked her if everything was OK. She said, "No, save my son out there."

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Two of her sons were actually in the water. Moffitt says one had fallen off his boogie board and was frozen with fear. "I swam out, got to the one boy, he said, 'No, save my brother, he's in trouble.'" 

The water was over his head and the current was pulling them out, but the lifelong swimmer was strong enough to bring both boys back to shore. "They were giving me hugs and the mom was crying and it was a pretty emotional scene," Moffitt says.

Moffitt, a fifth-grade teacher in Scotch Plains, says he has a lesson that goes beyond the classroom. "Even really great swimmers should have life vests on and definitely a floatation device," he says.

After the rescue, Moffitt says he bought two floatation devices for the teens.

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