Commandeered a boogie board and began paddling out in New Jersey


WILDWOOD - On the morning of July 21, 2020, just before 9 a.m., and prior to the beaches being guarded, the Wildwood City Fire Department, Wildwood Beach Patrol’s ALERT (After-Hours Lifeguard Emergency Response Team), Wildwood Police Department, and the North Wildwood Fire Department were dispatched to Cresse Avenue and the beach, for a water rescue assignment, with two people reportedly in the water.

According to a release, the Wildwood Fire Department arrived on scene and confirmed two people clinging to a small boogie board approximately 75-100 yards out before establishing command. The Wildwood Fire Department immediately deployed swimmers and a rescue board into the water, allowing them to quickly reach the two men that were visibly exhausted and unable to make it back to shore.

One man was placed on the rescue board, while the other man was placed on the boogie board and brought safely to shore by Wildwood Firefighters.

Following and immediate investigation, it was determined that a North Jersey man, Aaron McCoy, was jogging along the water’s edge with his sister when they heard cries for help. It is at that moment when McCoy commandeered a boogie board and began paddling out to the adult victim while his sister called 911.

McCoy made contact with the victim and secured him to the boogie board until help arrived.

Further investigation revealed that the victim was actually the father of a young girl who was originally in distress and, once he was able to rescue his daughter, became a victim himself.

Mr. McCoy’s heroic and selfless actions prevented a tragedy from occurring. This is the second time in as many weeks that a civilian has risked their life to save another.

The Wildwood City Fire Department commends Mr. McCoy for his bravery and continues to remind the public to only swim in the ocean while the lifeguards are on duty. If you see someone in distress in the water, immediately call 911.

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