Point Pleasant viral surfer uses life-saving experience to provide water safety tips

Toni Yates Image
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
NJ surfer uses life-saving experience to provide water safety tips
Toni Yates talks to Brendan Tighe about his experience rescuing a man at a Jersey Shore beach.

BELMAR, New Jersey (WABC) -- A viral surfer is sharing how his experience of saving a man led him to becoming an advocate for water safety.

Point Pleasant's Brendan Tighe was surfing at Avon-by-the-Sea back on April 29 when he noticed a person struggling in the water.

"They were yelling," Tighe said. "I had to paddle down to them and put them on my board and paddled in."

The person got caught in a riptide after going in the water to dip their feet, but lost their footing and couldn't swim very well. The cold water took over and the person drifted 60 to 70 feet out into the ocean.

Tighe ended up saving the man, but took his experience a step further in a wonderful way.

Using his social media pages, Tighe decided to detail his life-saving techniques and warn people about the dangers of swimming on unprotected beaches. There are no lifeguards on duty this early on when the weather does start to get warmer.

"Enjoy the beach, but it's not a great time to go swimming yet," Tighe said. "The water is in the low 50s. Whether the waves are big or small, it's not a safe decision."

Tighe isn't fooling around either when he says he's a savant of the water. He and his family have surfed around the world. And back in December 2023, he was surfing during the winter storm in Point Pleasant and was caught on camera wiping out. The video amassed more than one million views.

"I'm fully recovered from that," Tighe said. "I did get whiplash and slight concussion from that and many trips to the chiropractor. But no broken bones."

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Raegan Medgie has details from Washington Heights.


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