MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Lifeguards with the Los Angeles County and Manhattan Beach Fire Departments are being credited with saving the life of a man who jumped or fell into the ocean from the Manhattan Beach Pier.
Authorities said two good Samaritans also sprang into action to save the man.
KCAL9's Stacey Butler reported that just before 1:25 p.m. Thursday, lifeguards received a 911 call to help search for a man who had fallen into the ocean.
Two good Samaritans heard the man screaming for help and jumped off the pier in an attempt to rescue him. A life ring was thrown into the water from the end of the pier to help keep all three afloat.
Two firefighters jumped off the pier to help all three, followed by additional lifeguard units to help bring the victims to shore. Paramedics performed CPR on the original victim, who was unconscious by the time he was pulled from the surf. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
"The [good Samaritans] went over to check on the person, one helped him, the other called 911," lifeguard AJ Lester said.
Both Samaritans jumped in to save the man, but first one grabbed a life ring at the end of the pier.
"They were able to float on that until our rescuers could come on scene," Lester said.
Firefighters got the call and helped out before lifeguards could arrive.
"They jumped in the water themselves, knowing that lifeguards were on the way, and they needed to help sustain the people in the water to keep them above water," says Chief Robert Espinosa of Manhattan Beach Fire Department.
It's the third rescue for Manhattan Beach Fire Capt. Dave Shenbaum. He received a medal of valor for saving another life two years ago.
The good Samaritans were not hurt.
Officials are calling them heroes but warn others to think twice before jumping in.
"We prefer it was lifesavers; they're trained to do that, like the LA County lifeguards. Or the Manhattan Beach Fire Department that does that. That being said, it was a heroic deed that they did. And we're for sure glad that those two ended up OK," says Lester.
The other firefighter who jumped in has been identified as Manhattan Beach firefighter David Schwarting.
The cause of this incident is under investigation by the Manhattan Beach Police Department.
Butler reported the victim in critical condition was in his 20s.
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