‘I couldn't even think’: Teen surfer rescues 3 men caught in rip current at Jersey Shore

A 16-year-old surfer from Point Pleasant Borough pulled three men caught in a rip current safely to shore.

News 12 Staff

Sep 28, 2021, 11:50 AM

Updated 934 days ago

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A 16-year-old surfer from Point Pleasant Borough pulled three men caught in a rip current safely to shore.
Kayla Smith was wrapping up a day of surfing Sunday when she saw the three men struggling. She then jumped in with her surfboard.
“Two women ran up to me,” says Smith. “They asked if I could go get their husbands. I grabbed my board. I ran right in there."
Smith says she’s been surfing for about five years and conditions Sunday were extremely dangerous. She jumped into the ocean with her board and dragged herself and all three safely to shore.  
"I couldn't even think, it was just like keep paddling try as hard as you can,” says Smith. “I was worried about them more than myself because I could tell they were sipping on water from the ocean and everything; they couldn't catch their breath and I was like I'll balance the board for you guys just kick to help me get in because there was no way I could have pulled them in. No one could touch up there. It was probably a 10-foot drop maybe."
Smith wasn't even supposed to be on the beach. Her mom was late picking her up.
“Just so thankful of her bravery,” says mother Sharon Smith. “Really, she's so selfless to just - I don't know if I could do that to be honest knowing that it was so rough. Just so impressed with her selflessness to be honest with you. There need to be more people like that in this world.”
Everything happened so quickly that Smith didn’t even catch the names of the men she rescued. She says she hopes they're doing OK and wants everyone to know even experienced surfers and swimmers can get in trouble in a hurry when no lifeguards are on duty. 


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