He ain't heavy...he saved my life

Deborah Burgin was rescued from the surf at Maroochydore Beach by Alex Montgomery.
Deborah Burgin was rescued from the surf at Maroochydore Beach by Alex Montgomery. John Mccutcheon

AS a set of waves came crashing towards Deborah Burgin, she instinctively dove under water.

But as her single fin stand-up long board sliced through her forehead, she knew it was not deep enough.

With blood pouring down her face, Deborah’s survival instincts kicked in.

Waving one hand in the air as she gripped to her board, she caught the attention of Alex Montgomery.

The 18-year-old Rip Curl model from Noosa had just finished a photo shoot.

Ditching his shoes, wallet and leather jacket Alex raced 100 metres to the water and helped Deborah to the shore where she received medical attention from a lifeguard.

Yesterday the pair were reunited at Maroochydore Beach where the ordeal unfolded.

There were heartfelt smiles and hugs all around.

“Alex told me that he lost his mum to cancer two years ago and when he saw me in the water, he thought about her,” Deborah said.

“He said he didn’t want to have to tell someone their mum was not coming home.

“I am truly blessed, he is my little angel.

“If you get the chance to say it, you can never really be too thankful.”

Deborah, who works night shift as a bar tender, said it was refreshing to have meet such a remarkable young man.

“In my job I often see the down side of youth, drinking and violence,” she said.

“But Alex has shown there are some inspiring 18-year-old’s out there.”

Alex remains quite humble, about his new found hero status which the Daily revealed on Monday in the hope of finding the mystery woman he saved.

“I am so happy she is okay and it was great we got to meet again,” he said.

“I was worried because there was so much blood.

“Unfortunately I could not find her paddle which had been swept away.”

Alex’s dad Geoff said he could not be prouder of his son who he has raised alone after his wife passed away.

“He actually did not tell me about it,” he said.

“I only found out when the neighbour told me he had seen a story in the paper.”

Alex’s work colleague Gareth Jenkins said he had never met a nicer guy.

“On Valentine’s Day he dressed up in a white suit and handed out roses to the international travellers.”

Deborah said she was keen to return to the water once her 12 stiches were removed on Monday next week.

“Can’t have the hubby getting to used having me around all the time to cook him dinner,” she said.

Topics:  lifeguard rescue surfing

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