Off-duty lifeguard saves woman in gator-filled lake

WSVN — An off-duty lifeguard is being called a hero tonight after risking his life to save another … and he had to brave alligators to do it. Rosh Lowe has the story in tonight’s edition of The Lowedown.

Cellphone video: “Somebody in the water. Our neighbor Greg is a lifeguard. Oh my God. Oh my God, get there.”

You can hear the voice of desperation in this cellphone video.

Cellphone video: “I already called 911. Oh no, no, no! How did that person get in there?”

An off-duty lifeguard literally dived into action to save the life of a woman bobbing up and down in the middle of a lake — a woman who told her neighbor she wanted to kill herself.

Witness: “She was just saying how much she hates her life and how no one loves her and how she wanted to die. I kept telling her, ‘Listen,’ I said, ‘you need to love yourself.’ I don’t think she wanted to die. I think she just wanted to be saved.”

Saved because of the heroic actions of one man and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Gregory Larson, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue: “I think I was there for a reason, definitely, without a doubt.”

Greg Larson is a part of Miami-Dade Fire’s Ocean Rescue.

He jumped into action — even though he was off duty. He lives here at the apartment complex in Northeast Miami-Dade.

Rosh Lowe: “Why did you risk your own life to do this?”

Gregory Larson, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue: “It was the right thing to do.”

Monday evening, Greg was relaxing in his living room. He had just worked 11 out of 12 days. All of a sudden, he sees this woman in distress and he grabs a vest and knows she needs help. Although there are alligators in the lake, Gregory put his fears aside to save a life.

Gregory Larson: “I could see that she needed some help, and I was there to give it to her.”

He certainly helped give this woman another chance at life. This cellphone video shows Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arriving.

Jason Leaks is a rescue diver. He also jumped in the water.

Jason Leaks, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue: “She was out there, she was distressed, she was panicking. When I reached for her, she reciprocated. She let me help her. That’s the key thing here. We are here to help people.”

Jason is a father of a 1-year-old girl. He holds her as he recounts how he helped bring the woman to shore.

Jason Leaks: “I look at her and know every day you can create life and influence people in a good way. Just keep moving forward. Just keep trying. Don’t give up. Everybody falls, but what matters is how you pick yourself up.”

Getting back up and holding onto life. That’s what this is all about for Greg and Jason and those who witnessed the rescue.

Gregory Larson, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue: “I love life. I love living. I like to see people safe and happy as well.”

Jason Leaks: “Every day is a new chance. A new opportunity. I encourage everybody to seek it.”

Witness: “Life is so beautiful. You just have to live every moment.”

And this moment in time, captured on video — showing how heroes are born and lives are changed.

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