I am a trained swimmer and completed all classes to become a lifeguard. However, swimming never was more than a hobby for me and I chose a totally different career path.

In 2007 I saved a girl from drowning. For those of you unexperienced with seashores and beaches, the sea will always push you back to the shore unless you are further than a given point. After this given point , the strong current will either push you deeper into the sea, or keep you where you are. You can't just "float" back to the shore; you will drown for exhaustion.

In 2007 I was at the beach with a few friends when I noticed a girl way too far from the shore. By "too far", I mean way too far: at least twice as far as any other person. Her gestures were clear: she was drowning, barely keeping her head above water. I turned around: no lifeguard. I later learned the man chose to take a break and was at the bathroom.

To make this clear: she was getting futher and further from the shore by the second. I'm a good swimmer: I raced to her, then carried her on my back to the shore, keeping her above water. She had already swallowed a lot of water. I risked my own life because my weight with hers could have been too much. But I made it.

The lady later sued me. Now, I learned later that she had to spend three days at the hospitals, couldn't afford it, tried to sue the beach owners but her case was rejected, but she still sued me. Her case? I should have saved her earlier. I had been careless, not carrying her to the shore fast enough, and should have let the lifeguard do his job (yes, you read that right). I had injured her, she was in pain, she wouldn't have swallowed as much water, if that makes any sense, etc etc etc.

I had the case thrown out by a judge, but still had to hire a lawyer, and to suffer the humiliation. It was an unnecessary stress. I felt disgusted and betrayed. AMA.

EDIT: Thanks for the great questions :) I'm off for the night, I will answer in the morning :)

Comments: 2180 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

[deleted]1881 karma

You should send her Christmas Cards every year... just like the sweetest happiest passive aggressive Christmas Card you can muster... Maybe a picture of you down at the beach with a Santa hat or something, with a nice little "Just thankful we're both alive to celebrate another Christmas! I wish you a safer and prosperous New Year! PS: Be careful when swimming next summer!"

hobviously292 karma

That's a great idea and it would possibly even work, but I really don't want to have anything to do with this woman.

GirlYouNasty934 karma

What an evil cunt. Good job for saving someones life, even if they didn't deserve it.

hobviously588 karma

Amongst her charge was that I injured her while giving her CPR... as opposed to not giving her CPR maybe?

Tasty_Yams274 karma

You gave her CPR?

hobviously791 karma

Yes. Which might be part of the reason she sued me actually (I'm black, she was white, and not too appreciative of minorities or so I've heard).

Whyareyoustaringatme454 karma

expletive expletive expletive

What a poor excuse for a human being. I'm sorry some white people are such ***holes. </inadequate apology>

hobviously327 karma

Haha If I can add...

... California is 10000 times less racist than the placed I lived before. Whoever guess it wins!

mister-bizarro179 karma

A black man who knows how to swim!!! Now I've heard everything!

Not trying to be a racist troll or anything, just a stereotype that seems pretty accurate based on the black people I've met/know.

hobviously181 karma

I know how to sew as well. Is that another first :P?

Tasty_Yams100 karma

Wait a second.

I'm sorry, but as a former EMT I'm really confused.

CPR is as serious as it gets. But you never mentioned it in your initial story.

You only give CPR to someone whose heart has stopped. People whose hearts have stopped are unconscious. I didn't get the impression from your story that the girl was essentially dead and you revived her.

I'm really really confused. Can you clarify?

hobviously134 karma

Oops that's my bad. I mean she stopped breathing. I had to push air in her lungs; by doing so, the CO2 concentration in her system increased and forced her to breath again, spitting water.

Sorry if that doesn't make sense. If you have the correct word I'll be glad to correct it :)

xixoxixa73 karma

Rescue Breathing. Sadly, it is no longer taught.

hobviously71 karma

How come? Well it was part of my swimming program, obviously. It's not really hard and I think everyone should know it.

BulkVanderhuge469 karma

Something like this happened to my uncle. As an off-duty fireman he saw a car with two girls in their twenties go off a bridge into an orchard. By the time he got to the car, he saw that the girl in the passenger seat was dead, the car was on fire, and he suffered burns getting the girl out of the driver's seat. The surviving girl then sued him because she said he hurt her back AND WON.

hobviously56 karma

I absolutely believe you. Your uncle risked his life, even got injured, and still lost a lawsuit. And he can't even sue anyone or do anything. Completely ridiculous.

You know in my case, what if the woman had won? I'd be broke and bankrupt. I would have lost everything.

hiwhoami216 karma

Ugh that's awful. I nearly drowned at Virginia Beach when I was 13 or 14. An off-duty firefighter saved my life. It would have never occurred to me to be anything less than eternally grateful.

OK, a question. How can a beach have an owner? It's not like an acre in a subdivision you just drop a house on. Also, did this put you off helping people in the future?

hobviously260 karma

How can a beach have an owner?

The city.

Also, did this put you off helping people in the future?

No, not really. Well I didn't really get another such occasion but I would do it again.

RandyPonce105 karma

How much did you have to pay for the lawyer and other legal fees? How much time did the ordeal take up?

hobviously231 karma

I paid around $3,500, but I had to hire another lawyer. The first lawyer recommended me to accept a deal with the defendant, citing that legal fees alone would be more than the deal (She sued for $150,000, but lawyer offered to settle for $20,000, which was her medical bill, her legal fee + lost wages). I immediately refused and fired the lawyer. I had already given him a $800 deposit. He worked a grand total of 3 hours (maximum) on my case.

This took around 3-4 months to settle. We filed a motion to dismiss and it was granted.

clawhatesyou123 karma

Doesn't the plaintiff have to cover your legal expenses as well as punitive damages for wasting your time?

hobviously277 karma

That's the ultimate irony. I could have sued her for frivolous lawsuit for my legal fee, but:

1) There was no guarantee I would win

2) Even if I won, there was no guarantee she would pay me

3) If I lose, I would have even more legal fees to pay

[deleted]83 karma

Do we even have to ask what country this occurred in, or is it obvious?

hobviously194 karma

That's funny, it actually happened in Netherlands!

No really, it happened in USA, in California.

aveeight29 karma

Surprised that even made it to court - what did it end up costing you in legal fees?

hobviously31 karma

$3,500 (approx)

Tillermo22 karma

It would make sense to reverse your action.

hobviously130 karma

I've thought a lot about it. Tell me if that makes sense.

Let's say I see the exact same girl drowning again. What would I do? What would I honnestly do?

I've thought about it for long (she was suing me for $150,000 which is more than everything I have, she would have destroyed my life) and I think I would save her again. Even if I know that by saving her, I might get sued again.

However, this time, I would try not to give my name. Just save her and run away :P. The worst is, I gave my name to the emergency workers just in case they would later need my help or some information. Yeah...