A Santee man was awarded a Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism after he rescued an unconscious 10-year-old girl who was swept offshore in La Jolla.
On May 14, 2020, a 10-year-old was floating off the coast of La Jolla when Niel Garret, a 39-year-old electician of Santee, saw her and sprung into action. He was able to reach her in turbulent waters but as he tried to make his way to shore, they were struck repeatedly by waves and at one point, lost her grip on her but was able to quickly get a hold of her again.
A surfer approached them and he was able to place the girl on his surfboard and bring her to shore.
The girl was revived onshore and taken to a nearby hospital and was able to fully recover.
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The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awards the Carnegie Medal to individuals from throughout the United States and Canada who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
According to the Carnegie Hero website, to date, more than 10,000 medals have been awarded, the recipients selected from more than 100,000 nominees.