May 16, 2014 – 3:12pm
A St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputy helped rescue a 12-year-old boy from the ocean near Vilano Beach.
Deputy Thomas Cameron Coward was on beach patrol about 6 p.m. Thursday when a woman told him she saw two people in distress south of the Vilano Beach jetties.
Deputies saw a boy being driven away from shore by the current, so Coward grabbed his life vest and went into the water.
Austin Wesp, of St. Augustine, was about 40 to 50 yards from the shore when Coward went into the ocean.
Coward got to Wesp, and Coward and a bystander brought him back to the beach.
Wesp had been on the beach with two other young people when they decided to go into the water.
Waves and the rough current overcame them, but two of them were able to make it back to the shore.
St. Johns County Fire Rescue paramedics treated all three people at the scene for minor injuries.