How a Surfer Saved – and Changed – a Man’s Life in Ocean City, NJ
Full disclosure: I read this story and had to get a box of tissues before I got halfway through it.
This remarkable story was posted to an Ocean City, NJ, Facebook group on Wednesday. It is an absolutely incredible story of raw emotion, the randomness of life, and how a near-tragedy completely changed the life of one man.
The account was written by 24-year-old Ralphy Scout, who says he is Autistic, has undiagnosed ADHD, and OCD.
The events below unfolded on July 12th, 2020, when he was 22.
It was on that day that he went to Ocean City with his friends, but before he did, he got into a fight with his mother.
I did not say “I love you” or “See you later”. Just a simple door shut and went on with my day.
That afternoon, Ralphy said he was swimming in the ocean and got stuck in a rip tide.
I almost drowned to my death when I was saved by a surfer and six other kids that heard my screams for help. . . . I swam too far because I was angry and I wanted to feel or be brave with no cowardness. I would realize that was a mistake.
The surfer’s name was Cole.
That's about all he knows about him.
The other six kids[,] I did not get their names but I always remember how they sprung into action to get help along with the boy that grabbed my hand to swim me back.
As we swam back, I thanked Cole so many times and above all I also gave thanks and prayed to God as well. . . . I thanked the six kids and told them that they will always be in my mind and in my prayers. I got to shake hands and thank Cole for saving me.
"Cole and along with those kids saved my life."
And, according to Ralphy, that one near-tragic moment changed his life.
Ever since then, I look and treat life so differently. It is a shame that a near death experience was what it took for me to change my ways but I am thankful for the lesson and that lesson is to live life everyday as if it is your last day.
What happened to Cole?
Ralphy says he doesn't know.
I am posting this because I am hoping that this will find Cole and those six kids remember how brave and to remind them that they saved my life and that it was not for nothing. . . . I used to be very arrogant, ignorant, full of scorn, full of hate, easily angered but not anymore.
How did that event in 2020 change Ralphy?
He says he wants to name his first son after Cole.
As if that wasn't enough,
I now want to join the National Guard to save people from floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and above all I want to save others like how you saved me.
Cole, I hope you are getting the best out of life and I hope you know that because of your action, I have another chance at life and that I am not taking it for granted ever again with my own foolishness.
"I am alive because of you."
Because of you, you made me realize that our day can be our last day so now I am living with friendship, kindness, compassion, sympathy but also knowing boundaries, morals, and ethics. I wake up and realize how beautiful life is.
Thank you Cole. Forever.
A story like this is a prime example of how one simple act can completely change a person's life. In this case, that change was nothing short of remarkable.