They didn't think twice. It was all instinct.
Earlier this summer while working Memorial Beach, lifeguards Jeff Libby and Tony Li were notified of a person in distress outside the beach area. Without hesitation, the duo raced out to the middle of Dug Pond to save the person.
"Our lifeguards made (many) rescues this summer, but this stood out," Park and Recreation Director Jon Marshall said at the Aug. 26 Board of Selectmen meeting. "They went above the call of duty."
According to Marshall, a boater from Newton had tipped over and was struggling to get back in. Libby and Lee raced out and brought Dan Kunitz, and his boat, back to shore.
"We’re responsible for all people in water when we are there," Marshall said.
Kunitz was not present at the meeting.
"He had plans out of town," said Town Administrator Martha White. "He said he's grateful for the lifeguards that day. We offer a thank you on his behalf."
"There were two major problems that needed solving,” Kunitz wrote in an email to the town. “They had to get me to shore and they had to get the boat to the landing area where I could put it on my trailer. They accomplished both these tasks. They knew what they were doing and they showed great concern for my well being.”
The two Natick lifeguards were humble in accepting their recognition.
"We were just doing our job, didn’t think twice," Libby said. "Thanks to our bosses for training us so well."
"We have to thank the other staff members who pointed him out and congratulate them (as well)," Li said.
Chair Carol Gloff commended them for their efforts.
"Thank you for all you do for the town," she said.
A third lifeguard who helped, Jeff Stoddart, was not present at the meeting.