*Image info: A Marine from Wounded Warrior Battalion-West surfs as part of an Ocean Therapy Seminar at Del Mar beach on January 26, 2016.
(USMC photo by Private First Class Emmanuel Necoechea).
Marine Corps News: Marine Saves Drowning Sailor
Added July 28, 2016
Last month, on the morning of June 29, Lance Corporal Troy Yakin a landing support specialist with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and two Marines from his unit were visiting Del Mar Beach aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Not long after arriving, however, their relaxing day at the beach took a dramatic turn.
"When we were at the beach everybody was having a good time," Yakin said. "People were surfing, body boarding, all that fun stuff. There was a swimmer who had wandered out too far so the life guard went to get him. It was around that time that someone started screaming for help."
That someone was Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Ralph Duron, senior enlisted leader, 21 Area Branch Clinic, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, who was at the beach to do some surfing.
"I was pummeled by a wave and tossed," Duron said. "In the process, my left shoulder was dislocated and the leash of my surfboard snapped. At the same time, I'd gotten caught in a rip current far from shore. I was in a very bad spot."
After trying to side-stroke his way out of the rip current with one arm, Duron began to call for help. Upon hearing his cries, Yakin reacted in typical Marine fashion and charged into the ocean to assist the injured sailor.
"He flew in out of nowhere and put his life at risk by going into this rip current to swim us both to safety," Duron said of Yakin. "Throughout his rescue, he reassured me and pulled us both out of the situation."
"As a seasoned Navy corpsman with multiple deployments, saving lives is my job," Duron continued. "Troy went out of his way to save mine as well as place his in harm's way without hesitation. I believe his actions reflect honor on himself, his unit, and the Marine Corps as a whole. I am honored to call Marines like Troy 'brother.'"