MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Two men visiting the city say they rescued a swimmer early Sunday evening while first responders were busy with another person in the water.
Fisher Lindsey and George King are mainly on a work trip from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, but the two of them, along with friends and coworkers, were celebrating Lindsey’s birthday a day early on Sunday.
“I wanted to have a day out, eat, fish off the pier,” said Lindsey.
When they walked back from 14th Avenue Pier at around 6 p.m., they noticed someone pulled pretty far from the shore and in trouble.
“Maybe we stood there 30-45 seconds, zooming in, making sure we did see what we thought we’d seen,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey and King say they ran into the water and grabbed a boogie board for help. They got out to the man, who still had a pulse.
For almost 10 minutes, Lindsey and King pulled him close to the shore, before their friends helped get him on land.
“It wasn’t even a decision to be made,” said Lindsey. “We sprung into action.”
“I had something like this happen to one of my kids years ago,” King said. “That’s all I could think of if it was somebody’s kid, so I just went.”
Lindsey and King say this happened while city fire rescue helped another man about half a mile away. The Horry County Coroner’s Office said on Wednesday that Hasan Sharfuddin, 51, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, died of natural causes while in the water.
The two men say it’s fortunate they walked by because no one noticed the swimmer.
“If that was the case, it would be a different scenario,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey and King have visited the man and his family at Grand Strand Medical Center. They’re also getting updates on his recovery.
They both say they’d definitely go back in to save someone again.
“Right now, I was thinking about it as I walked towards the water,” said Lindsey. “I had seen a few people that were far out. No hesitation.”
Lindsey says the man has been responsive in the hospital, but was sedated so doctors could try to remove water from his lungs.