Watch CBS News

Boynton Beach teen saves woman from being swept out to sea

CBS News Live
CBS News Miami Live

BOYNTON BEACH — In one of the most dangerous inlets in South Florida on November 30, a woman somehow jumped in and seconds later was struggling.

A group of people gathered here watching her as they waited for first responders to arrive, but 17-year-old Jakob Thompson didn't think twice before jumping in to help her.

Boynton Beach teen saves woman from being swept out to sea 02:25

"I jump in and everything happened like, like that, like super fast," Thompson told CBS News affiliate WPEC.

A fun afternoon for the teenager at the Boynton Beach Inlet quickly turned as cell phone video caught the moment he jumped off the sea wall and into the inlet to help rescue a woman who had been swept out into the ocean two weeks ago.

"I just swam as fast as I can to get her," Thompson told WPEC. "And by the time I got to her, she was pretty like, I want to say lifeless, but she was like very tired, like very worn out and tired from obviously struggling, trying to get out of the water."

Risking his own life without hesitation.

"She was really sorry," Thompson told WPEC. "That's all she was saying like the whole time she was like, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' And I was like, 'you don't have to be sorry about anything.'"

He eventually got her to the sea wall, and that's when two men pulled them out. First responders arrived moments later.

"Were you scared?" asked WPEC reporter Luli Ortiz.

 "I think the adrenaline took over," Thompson responded. "I didn't really have any emotions at that point."

It's unclear why the woman jumped in.

"I've heard people say a phone dropped in the water, but I'm not sure 100%," Thompson told WPEC. "I'm not even sure how long she was in the water."

This rescue highlights the dangers of this inlet because of the fast-moving currents.

"If someone is to go into the inlet, like what happened in November, it's a race against time to try to help those people, get them out of the water as fast as possible," Lt. Tyler Hoffman of the Boynton Beach Fire Rescue Dive told WPEC.

That's why Boynton Beach Fire Rescue has one of the largest teams of divers ready to respond.

"We are able to have a pretty extensive dive team because the water is so unforgiving," Hoffman told WPEC. "You know, time is definitely our greatest enemy when it comes to waterfalls."

Some of them honored Thompson for going above and beyond. A moment this Santaluces High School senior will never forget.

"It's kind of like looking up to somebody because that's who I aspire to be one day a firefighter," Thompson told WPEC.

Thompson and his family have a lot to be thankful for this holiday. And they're enjoying the feeling that comes with doing the right thing.

"Would you do it again?" Ortiz asked Thompson.

"I would," he replied. "I would 100%."

As for the woman, she was evaluated here by first responders and was told she was doing okay.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.