Cameras caught the moment an ex-Marine rescued a swimmer stuck in a rip current off the Jersey Shore over Labor Day weekend, ABC7 reported.
Thirty-five-year-old ex-Marine Stephen Hauser was recording a YouTube video of himself surfing with his family off Long Beach Island when he spotted the struggling swimmer, Gabe McCabe, fighting to stay above the Atlantic’s fierce rip current, according to ABC7.
McCabe can then be seen grabbing onto Hauser’s board and telling his rescuer that the current had “fucking whipped me around.”
Hauser told McCabe he was alright and urged him to focus on getting back to land as they struggled to make it to shore with several other swimmers, the video shows. (RELATED: Former Marine Saves Two Women Who Drove Into Pond)
Three swimmers have died, and several others had to be rescued due to rip currents at Jersey Shore over the weekend. https://t.co/dyyOoQNfo1
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) September 5, 2023
“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” McCabe told ABC7 after his brush with death. “It just sucked, zapped the energy right out of you.”
“With those currents it could have turned out really deadly,” Hauser told the outlet. “And just having that inflatable board that I had, really buoyant board, right when Gabe grabbed onto that board, I knew I had him.”
Hauser’s rescue “was just one of many on the Jersey Shore on Sunday as vicious rip currents caused havoc for many swimmers,” ABC7 reported.
“I was doing everything to try to stay up,” McCabe told the outlet.
“I’ve been in rip currents before, too,” Hauser, an experienced surfer, said during his interview with ABC7. “It’s scary. Your first instinct is panic.”
“I was just in the right place, at the right time,” Hauser added. “I think anyone in my situation would have done the same thing.”