* From a Greenville, North Carolina TV station last year…
A Marine reservist from Illinois says he helped rescue one of two teens who were struggling in the surf off Emerald Isle Tuesday night.
Duncan Harris of Peoria, Illinois spoke to WITN’s Heather King on WITN News at Sunrise Wednesday. Harris says his family is on vacation in Emerald Isle. Tuesday night, he says his sister heard screams on the beach. Harris says from the deck of the house, he saw at least one person in the water, between 100 and 150 yards out in the surf. That’s when he and another man he doesn’t know ran into the water.
The two pulled a teen back to the beach, and Harris says they were told there was another boy out there. At that point, rescue boats arrived to help the still struggling teen.
* That rescue led to a Carnegie Hero Fund award in December…
Duncan Harris said he’s often asked if he feels like a hero after he and another man helped pull a drowning boy from the ocean.
“To me, it’s just one of those things,” said Harris, 23, of Buffalo Grove. “When it happened, I acted.”
While Harris, a Marine reservist, isn’t quick to call himself a hero, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission thought the title was fitting when it named him a recipient of the Carnegie medal, an honor for those who risk their lives to save others.
Peter Pontzer, 51, of Fairfax, Va., the other man who worked with Harris to save the boy, also will receive a medal, along with 19 others, the commission announced this week.
* And, yesterday, Gov. Rauner held a ceremony for Harris at his Statehouse office…
Thursday was Duncan O.C. Harris Day in Illinois.
Did you know that? There were no parades for the Buffalo Grove resident. No special treats. No days off school.
Maybe you missed it.
But for the family of the teen Harris saved from drowning, one day surely doesn’t seem like enough.
“Duncan did not hesitate for a minute in putting his own life in danger in order to save this boy’s life,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said during Thursday’s recognition ceremony in Springfield. “His brave and courageous actions reflect the very best of the people of Illinois, and we are proud to call him one of our own.”
Video of the ceremony is here.