San Diegan Student to Receive Carnegie Medal for Saving 2 Lives in 2021

San Diegan Student to Receive Carnegie Medal for Saving 2 Lives in 2021
The Carnegie Medal was awarded to Tyler Badet for heroically rescuing a couple from crashing waves in San Diego on Jan. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission)
City News Service

SAN DIEGO—A San Diego man will be honored with the Carnegie Medal for his efforts to save a couple from crashing waves in January 2021, it was announced on Sept. 25.

Tyler Badet, then 18 and a senior at Point Loma High School, was surfing when he saw a man and a woman struggling in choppy waves in a v-shaped cove on Jan. 6, 2021. The geography of the cove created a dangerous whirlpool-like effect in the 59-degree water.

"He paddled to them, and, instructing the man to hold onto the nose of the surfboard, moved the man to an area of the cove where he could exit the water," according to a statement from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Mr. Badet paddled back to the woman and did the same, but she panicked and would not let go of the surfboard to exit the water.

"Waves crashed around them, and, after two more attempts to get the woman to safety, Mr. Badet paddled into the center of the cove and waited for help," the commission statement read. "Lifeguards arrived, entered the water, swam to the woman, and took her to safety. Mr. Badet paddled about 50 feet where he could exit the water safely."

Mayor Todd Gloria praised Mr. Badet for his efforts at the time on Twitter, now known as X.

"@ptlomahs senior Tyler Badet is a hero. He recently saved the lives of two swimmers and credits the training he received from @SDLifeguards Junior Lifeguard program with making it possible. San Diego is proud of you, Tyler! #ForAllofUs."

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awards the Carnegie Medal to people from throughout the United States and Canada who risk themselves to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

Mr. Badet is now a business major at Point Loma Nazarene University. He will join 15 others in receiving the medal, touted as North America's highest honor for civilian heroism.

Each of the recipients or their survivors will receive a financial grant. Throughout the 119 years since the fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, nearly $45 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance.