When Coast Guardsman Dana Gagliardi heard the unmistakable cries for help near the north jetty in Florence Saturday afternoon he instantly went into rescue “auto pilot.” Gagliardi ran down the beach where two boys were being swept offshore by a strong rip current. The off-duty guardsman dove into the surf and muscled his way out to one of the boys. Gagliardi told him to grab on to his back and proceeded to swim cross-wize across the rip current. He got the boy back to the beach just fine.
While all this was going on the other boy managed to return to shore on his own.
By then a Coast Guard rescue helicopter and a motorlifeboat were nearly on scene but learned that one of their off duty guardsman remembered what line of work he’s in and literally jumped right in.
Gagliardi is from Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Coast Guard just last year and was assigned to Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River last December.
So far so good.