Some people discover their calling early on in life. For those lucky few, they are endowed with a sense of purpose and drive that allows them to follow their dreams at a young age. It gives them a head start in life, but, more importantly, it instills in them a sense of contentment that they are doing what they were born to do.
So, when one particular 8-year-old boy from Wales saved five people from the sea on two separate occasions, no one was particularly surprised. He did not only save them because he was in the right place at the right time and he felt the urge to help — but his deep commitment to protecting people drove him every day to put others’ lives before his own.
Steffan Williams was born to be a lifeguard.
8-year-old Steffan Williams was born to be a lifeguard. When he was 6 years old he took lifeguard classes and has since learned to sail and kayak. And when he’s not honing his sailing skills, he even raises money for the local lifeguards by selling handmade candles in his spare time.
“I want to be a lifeboat person when I get the chance,” young Steffan said according to the New York Post.
That was why it was no surprise to anyone when he saved five different people in the span of one week.
When he saw three people stranded by an outcropping of rocks, he immediately sprung into action.
8-yr-old Steffan Williams rescued 5 people in 2 days in separate incidents off coast of New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales. https://t.co/FKG6mnJHEL
— Jacqueline (@JackieMJensen) September 21, 2017
The first incident happened on August 29th, Steffan was out steering his kayak along the coast of Wales when he spotted three tourists stranded by some rocks; an elderly woman and two teenagers.
The little 8-year-old knew immediately what to do; he rushed back to shore, grabbed his rubber dinghy and then paddled out to rescue them.
“The tide was going out but it wasn’t going out a lot so I just went over and took them back, one at a time.”
Though the situation was not immediately dangerous, the trio was incredibly grateful. For his efforts, they gave him a $10 reward.
Not three days later, brave little Steffan was at it again — this time, though, the situation was far more grave.
The next incident was a bit more serious, however. On September 1, the little hero caught sight of something queer floating in the water.
“The second time I was at the pier and I saw a ball floating out to sea,” Steffan told the New York Post. “I heard whistling and looked back to the beach.”
“I looked on the rocks and saw them,” Steffan told the New York Post.
This was a dangerous situation. Two boys were caught in a spot where three other people had died in 2016. Time was of the essence, if the tide rose any further, the boys could have been swept out to sea and drowned.
Due to the nature of the rescue, Steffan’s mother, who usually monitors her son from shore, recognized this rescue was going to require far more experienced hands. So, Steffan’s mother, Kate, called the local lifeboat department — which happens to include Steffan’s father, Huw Williams.
It required professionals to do the saving, but Steffan stayed with the boys until rescue crews could arrive.
Steffan was not about to be left out. Instead, he paddled out to the pair of boys and waited with them until a rescue crew arrived to bring them back to shore.
“The second time was much more serious,” Williams said according to the New York Post. “In August last year there were three fatalities on one day, the New Quay boat went to a case just south of here where someone swimming was swept out to sea.”
If it was not for brave Steffan’s actions, those people might not have made it out alive. We are grateful that he’s out there making the waves that much safer for all of us.
Top image credit: (Facebook/Huw Williams)