Knysna schoolboy shrugs off attention after saving drowning man

2015-05-04 16:22


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Johannesburg – A 14-year-old Knysna schoolboy who saved a man from drowning, is shrugging off the attention after photos of his deed were posted online.

Devon Dodd never even told his mother Jacqui about it. She found out about it from a photographer who happened to be there and put the pictures on Facebook.

She said she phoned Devon the next day, while he was at school, and said to him: “Hey dude, you saved somebody’s life, and he said ‘ja, cool hey’.”

Dodd was surfing at Buffalo Bay, Knysna, on April 27, when he saw a man get knocked over by a wave and sucked into a current.

“His friend said 'there’s a man drowning' and he was shouting 'help, help', so I paddled out to him.

“My mom, she took a lifesaving course, and she taught me never to grab a drowning person because they’ll pull you down. I threw him my leash, but he kept on sinking.”

Devon got off his board, helped him on and got him back to shallow water. He didn’t get the name of the man and got back on his board and carried on surfing.

He shrugged off the attention he was getting about it at school.

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I don’t mind,” he said. Asked if it had made him popular with the girls, he laughed and said “a little bit”.  

His mom, who called him a “wonderful, awesome little guy”, said he was taking it “nicely in his stride”.

“He’s very funny, a great little character. He’s a very sporty little oke.”

She said his love of surfing, kiteboarding and motorbiking came from his father.

“He kept his senses about him. I’ve taught him never to touch somebody who is panicking and he told me he thought about that the whole time. I was very, very proud of him.”  

“He’s very untidy, but not that bad,” she laughed when asked about his other qualities.

Now when she wants him to do chores around the house, he jokes he doesn’t have to because he’s a hero.

“I tell him your 15 minutes are over, now go clean your room."

Read more on:    knysna  |  drowning

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