There is no age to be a hero, any more than to learn the gestures that save. This is what we learn from the testimony of Julien, 12 years old, who just saved a family from drowning in Biarritz.
The Atlantic has its moods to say the least. Every year drownings on the Basque coast are mourned. Tides, bains, currents and large rolls are the everyday life of swimmers in the Southwest. Particularly dangerous bathing conditions that often surprise tourists who come to cool off on the beach.
Every summer, Julien, 12, from the Paris region, spends his holidays in Biarritz (Prénées-Atlantiques). But this year he will have a very different memory than the last. Sunday evening, August 7, while bodyboarding in the ocean, the teen heard screams in the distance.
“At first I thought it was a joke, and the closer I got, the more I saw that they were in danger”does he trust the journalists of RMC. Soon, Julien understands that the family of five he sees is in grave danger. A woman clinging to a rock in the middle of the water, along with her cousin, both hard of hearing, struggles not to drown. Ahead, a six-year-old child and his father struggle in the middle of the waves. The numb legs, the latter fails to regain the shore.
Fortunately, Julien has just completed a coastal rescue course, learning the basics of lifeguards and the proper reflexes to adopt in these types of situations. Which gives him the courage to face the family in need.
“It was a bit hectic in my head because I wasn’t sure how to go about it, but in the end it went well.”
He goes to work with the father and his son and helps them climb on his board.
“We learned how to bring back people who were drowning, so I applied this technique while waiting for the rescuers, I brought them back as much as possible”, he explains. Soon the teenager is joined by other people to help the two swimmers.
“Because there was a lot of current, the board was connected with a rope and six of us took turns pulling it.”
Thanks to the intervention of the rescuers, the woman and the two children were also saved. Thanks to the young man’s courage, everyone was eventually able to return to the mainland safely.