Photo Credit: Toby Finneran

The Ironman Triathlete and UK tourist sprang to action during his Sea Point Promenade walk to save a teenager from drowning, then just before he thought his mission was complete, saw another person in trouble.


Cape Town (11 May, 2023)—An Ironman Triathlete and UK tourist’s promenade stroll in Sea Point quickly took a turn and became a rescue mission that saved a boy who couldn’t swim from drowning.

On Sunday, Toby Finneran from Surrey noticed a stressful situation as a young boy attempted to rescue his pal battling the Atlantic Seaboard’s waters. He had grabbed a pink buoy and was working up the courage to race into the sea when Toby sprung to action.

He could tell that the young boy was panicked about the waves’ height, and distressed about his friend who was at risk of drowning (the boy told Toby his friend couldn’t swim). The most important thing for any rescue operation is to remain calm, and so Toby grabbed the pink buoy from the panicked kid to help.

The Ironman triathlete shared with IOL that he felt confident in his abilities to handle the swell and rip current, and quickly got to the boy in the waters grips.

Despite nearing the rocky risk zone and the waves rushing in around them, Toby managed to maneuver both of them out of the strong current by using the waves to guide them to a gap in the surf.

The boy was panicked and weak, so Toby tied him to the buoy’s rope around him to pull him along, as he explained to News24.

Toby realised he could push himself along the rocks, not minding the cuts if it meant he could get them to shore.

The two made it out with his rescued friend weak and in pain, but safe.

However, just as Toby thought his good deed for the day was done, he noticed another teenager face down in the sand.

Toby saw he needed “serious help”, and suspected that he had tried to save the water-trapped boy earlier, as multiple reports share. Luckily, paramedics were soon on the case.

Now, Toby gets to go back to the UK with a one of a kind travel story.

And, when our tourist-turned-hero isn’t saving lives, he’s training for triathlons (sometimes with Embark Training in SA) or raising funds for a good cause (like his ride for Mind, a charity focused on mental health).

Source: Various (Linked Above)
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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