Fisherman rescues 2 girls near Hayden Island

Neighbors on Hayden Island say instead of nearly witnessing a tragedy on Wednesday, they saw an act of heroism.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 10:30 PM PDT
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HAYDEN ISLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Neighbors on Hayden Island say instead of nearly witnessing a tragedy on Wednesday, they saw an act of heroism.

When two girls fell off a jet ski, Ryan Mesa, a neighbor and witness to the event, said a man jumped in after them.

“I’ve been out here for about three to five years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mesa said.

Mesa said he was sitting out on his patio when two girls who were both wearing life jackets fell off their jet ski. He explained the jet ski drifted away and that they were forced to tread water.

“All I heard her say was ‘help me,’” Mesa recalled. “‘I can’t swim.’ She was drowning.”

Mesa said he started frantically searching for his life jacket while others called the police.

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Meanwhile, a man named Mynor was nearby fishing. He said he saw the same event unfolding.

Mynor speaks Spanish, and his wife Anna translated what he had to say during an interview with FOX 12.

“I didn’t know which one to help,” Mynor said. “They were screaming and yelling for help.”

By the time Mesa got back outside, he said he saw one of the girls being helped by a pontoon boat. However, he said that the other girl looked like she was in trouble. He said it appeared that her life jacket may have been in an awkward position around her neck, as every time a wave hit, he saw her take on a mouthful of water.

“Even without the life vest,” Mesa said, “it’s very dangerous out here.”

Mesa said he saw Mynor was already on the move and was running across the bank looking for somewhere to get down to the water.

“You know, there’s some people that freeze in that moment and there’s some people that act. By the time I got to him and the water,” he said, “I saw him in the water with a rope around his waist.”

SEE ALSO: Man helps rescue woman who fell off trail near Multnomah Falls

Mynor said he swam a lot as a child and described himself as a strong swimmer. He swam out to the girl without thinking twice, “like 50-60 feet over there,” he pointed, “but the water was so strong.”

Mynor said when he caught up to the girl, he saw fear in her eyes. He said she begged him to stay.

“She was crying. She was shaking,” he recalled. “I told her not to be nervous or afraid. That everything was going to be alright.”

Mesa said he watched as Mynor lifted the girl above water and made sure she got back to shore safely.

“God bless his soul, because if those girls would have died, I might not have been looking at this view the same way,” he gestured towards the water. “He’s a hero.”

FOX 12 told Mynor that people like Mesa are calling him a hero, to which he replied “I’m not a hero. I just tried to help.”