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LASD - Avalon Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
Thursday October 3rd, 2019 :: 01:40 p.m. PDT


#LASD Deputies Save Drowning Man from Ocean

On September 28, 2019, at 2:28 p.m., Deputies Mario Saldana and Diana Fazzini were on foot patrol working at the Avalon Sheriff’s Station. LASD handles police responsibilities in many communities within the over 4000 square miles of Los Angeles county, including the island of Santa Catalina.  Sometimes it pays to be in the right place at the right time.  Both deputies were walking on the Avalon Green Pier when a bystander told them someone was drowning in the ocean.  The deputies quickly ran to the side of the pier and saw a 57-year-old male from Springfield, Missouri, in the water flaying his arms while a teenager was trying to assist the distressed male.
It was evident to the deputies; the male was going to drown if they did not immediately take action to save him.  As the man was going underwater, the deputies ran down the ramp to a small dinghy dock and reached out to the man to bring him to safety.
Both deputies struggled to grip the desperate man by the arms, but the slippery clothing made it difficult as he continued to slip from their grasp.  After several anxious moments, the deputies were finally able to get a good grip on the man’s arms and pull him out of the water.  The man was completely out of breath and suffered injuries minor scrapes and bruises to his legs. 
The man was extremely intoxicated when he lost his balance and fell into the ocean.  He was unable to get out of the water, and the deputies were able to save his life.  
Paramedics responded and treated the man’s injuries. 
With the assistance of bystanders alerting the deputies of a person drowning, the outcome could have been tragic
For his safety the man was taken into custody at the Avalon Station Jail, where he was released after he had regained his sobriety. 
The next day, the man returned to Avalon Sheriff’s Station and was extremely emotional and grateful.  He contacted Avalon Sheriff’s Station Captain John Hocking and commended the two deputies that saved his life.  He told Captain Hocking, if the deputies would not had been there and pulled him from the water, he would have died.
Captain Hocking stated, “I am extremely proud of both of these deputies.  They did not hesitate to take immediate action, which saved a man’s life.  When an emotional man thanks you (the deputies) for saving his life, it affects you in a positive way.”
The victim and the deputies are available for comment, however, the victim currently lives in Springfield, Missouri.
For any addition inquiries about this incident please contact Avalon Station Captain Hocking at (310) 510-0174. 

Forwarded by:
Deputy Grace Medrano
Sheriff's Information Bureau - Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
211 West Temple Street,
Los Angeles California 90012


LASD - Avalon Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
215 Sumner Ave
Avalon, CA 90704

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 310-510-0174

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