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Tow Truck Driver Jumps In Ocean To Save Drowning Woman In New Jersey

Screenshot/Wildwood Fire Department via Vimeo

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A Philadelphia man successfully rescued a drowning woman Tuesday night at a beach in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Tyree Ward, an auto mechanic and tow truck driver from the West Oak Lane neighborhood in uptown Philadelphia, said he was on the beach with his family when he heard screaming from the oceanside, ABC-affiliated local news station WPVI reported. The incident occurred around 8 p.m. and there were reportedly no lifeguards on duty.

Ward said he then dropped his phone and towel and jumped into the water to rescue the woman. He was able to swim out to where the 20-year-old woman — who was not identified — was drowning and bring her back to the shore.

Ward said that he first went underwater and pushed the woman up to the surface, according to PhillyVoice. “Once we got to better water, I just picked her up and started walking back with her. She had no energy or strength left in her,” Ward added.

Emergency crews and the Wildwood Fire Department also came to the rescue, but officials said that the woman may not have been saved if it were not for Ward’s intervention, according to WPVI. (RELATED: Topless Woman Allegedly Saves Family From Drowning)

“Mr. Ward’s selfless actions most certainly saved this woman’s life,” read the statement released Tuesday by the Wildwood Fire Department. “A family daytrip to Wildwood resulted in Mr. Ward becoming an instant hero.”

Wildwood Fire Chief Ernie Troiano III also praised Ward’s actions. “He was truly in the right place the right time, and he had what it took to get the job done. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t wait to call for help. He sprung into action and it was truly a lifesaving measure,” he told WPVI.

Ward said he hopes the incident will inspire people to think selflessly, according to WPVI. “You just jump in and you just have to follow your gut sometimes,” he said. Ward also thanked God, stating, “Everything just happened the way it did. Nobody but the Lord put me in that place.”