FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Northeast High School freshman was honored by the Broward School Board Wednesday for saving a young boy from a rip current.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s never happened to me before,” said Saleh Saleh was applauded by the board for his heroic efforts. “My parents taught me well, to help people and their needs, and it was like ‘Okay, I did what I gotta do’ and brought him to shore.”
The near drowning of two boys and their father happened Mother’s Day in the waters off Oakland Park Boulevard.
Saleh, 15, said he was asleep on the beach when he heard a small boy screaming for help. He immediately jumped to his feet and spotted a young boy who looked to be around 6-years old struggling in the rough sea.
Not wasting any time or considering his own safety, Saleh grabbed his boogie board, ran down the beach and threw himself in the surging waves.
“By the time I got there, the kid was underwater, his whole body,” said Saleh at the time. “I put him on the boogie board and I pushed him onto shore as fast as I can.”
Another good Samaritan also dove into the water and helped save the boy’s 10-year old brother and their father. Yuri Gallegos said he grabbed the boy and swam back to the beach. Then he went back into the water and, with the help of several people, got the father back to shore.
Witnesses on the beach said the boys had been close to shore, in shallow waters, but somehow had gotten dragged into deeper where they fought to keep their heads above water.
Saleh said when he went to the beach on Mother’s Day he never expected that he would end up saving a life.