Sunset Cliffs Teen Heroes Awarded Highest Civilian Honor for 2020 Rescues

by on May 19, 2022 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

Two teens from Arizona rescued two girls in the waters off Sunset Cliffs back in July 2020. Now, they’ve both been awarded the Carnegie Hero Award for their heroism and bravery.

Zachary Haugen and Jake Watson rescued an 18-year-old woman and an 11-year-old girl who had been swept into the sea at the cliffs. there during a swell event. And the whole thing was caught on video. The dramatic rescue was considered heroic by many onlookers.

And this spring, the Carnegie Hero Commission, the highest civilian honor for heroism, agreed, awarding Haugen and Watson, Carnegie Medals. Haugen, then 16 and a certified lifeguard, selflessly jumped in the ocean and helped get the two flailing swimmers next to a ledge.

A sizeable wave separated him from the women. That’s when he called for Watson, then 15, who jumped in and was able to push the young girl onto a ledge, and stay in the water with the older girl until lifeguards could arrive. The whole scene was surreal, especially considering the boys were so young at the time.

“We just did what anyone would have done,” Haugen said. That’s certainly debateable.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Aaron May 19, 2022 at 6:59 pm

Proud of those boys! So awesome to see people helping people! ?


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