Chelsea IrizarryFeb 10, 2018, 12:03 amFeb 12, 2018, 3:48 pm

Boy Scout recognized for saving life of man in waters off Westhampton Beach

Will Simone, 16, was taken by surprise with honor for the heroic deed he performed 2 years ago


MANHASSET — Friday evening at an annual Troop 71 Boy Scout dinner, a scout was honored for his brave and heroic actions. But 16-year-old Will Simone had no idea it was going to be him. Simone received the Boy Scouts of America Medal of Merit for saving the life of another man in the waters off a Westhampton Beach nearly two years ago. His father, Chris Simone — the scout master, assisted in presenting the award.

In August 2016, Simone saw a man struggling against a heavy undercurrent.

“He was struggling to breathe at a certain point and he was starting to pass out. It looked like he wasn't swimming well and he was almost sinking under the water,” Simone recalled.

He got close enough to help the exhausted and struggling swimmer.

“I just kind of sprang into action and I put him on my boogie board, and I started towing him in, and I got him out of the water, and then I found out he actually was one of my friend’s dads,” Simone said.

“My sister said, ‘I think Will is helping that man,’ and I said, ‘Really?’ And I looked and then we saw, and then he did. He pulled this guy in on the boogie board,” said mother Kathy Simone.

Simone says it's not something he did to get recognition.

“Not many things go through your head. There's certain times where you are going to have to do something or not do something, and it was one of the times where you’re going to have to do something to save someone's life,” Simone said.

His father says Simone had no idea his actions were submitted for recognition.

“It’s given to scouts who had some risk to their life in helping others,” Simone explained.

Simone, almost 17, now plans to focus on his Eagle Scout project, which is the culmination of being a scout.

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