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    Pendleton Marine swims 250 meters, saves drowning couple

    Pendleton Marine swims 250 meters, saves drowning couple

    Photo By Cpl. Alison Dostie | U.S. Marine Cpl. Jordan Perez, a combat engineer with 7th Engineer Support Battalion,...... read more read more

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A young Marine was recognized for actions taken on Feb. 15th, 2021, when he saved the lives of two civilian kayakers at the 21 Area Boat Basin.

    Cpl. Jordan Perez, a combat engineer with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was present when a married couple was calling for help from the water. The boat basin, surrounded by large, sharp boulders, produced unforgiving waves that day that flipped their kayak. Through these waves, Perez estimated that he had to swim 250 meters to reach the kayakers and bring them to shore – a feat that may have proven impossible for some. Luckily for the couple, Perez was physically and mentally prepared due to the consistent and rigorous training of the Marine Corps.

    Perez received a challenge coin from U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Dan Conley, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, on Feb. 19th, 2021. Perez credits his military training with giving him the confidence to jump into action.

    At around 1 p.m. on Feb. 15th, 2021, Perez was working on a construction project at the 21 Area Boat Basin aboard Camp Pendleton, when another Marine witnessed a couple in the water that had been flipped from their kayak by a strong wave. The kayakers were struggling in the water and began calling for help.

    “That’s when I took action,” said Perez. “I took my boots off and just started swimming.”

    Once Perez arrived at the scene, he immediately “…grabbed the woman’s hand and pulled her back on the kayak and began pushing the boat back to the rocks,” said Perez. He mentioned that the woman’s husband was able to swim, but halfway to the shore he began to panic. Upon noticing the husband’s struggle, Perez swam back to where the man was, placed a life vest on him, and continued pushing the woman to safety.

    For his actions, Perez was paid a visit by Conley and received a challenge coin at the worksite where the event occurred.

    While Perez was not the only Marine to recognize the severity of the situation, he was particularly ready for this moment. Perez is currently training with a retired reconnaissance Marine in order to prepare for assessment and selection with the Marine Raiders. Achieving this goal includes swimming for about two hours every day.

    Perez’s hard work paid off when it mattered most. “That [training] takes away any hesitation that comes with putting your own life at risk. Since I had been training, I was confident that I could get myself out there and get those people back.”

    Conley had a conversation with Perez, commending him for his life saving actions. “I’d like to believe a lot of people would do what you did, but I know they wouldn’t. So, to hear it actually happen is just amazing. That was really gutsy of you.” said Conley.

    Although Perez does not fall under the MCIWEST chain of command, Conley wanted to personally thank him for his heroics. A challenge coin is presented to Marines that go above and beyond, and any further awards will be processed in due time by his chain of command.

    Although the actions that Perez took were heroic, Perez contends that all Marines, given the opportunity, would do the same. “It’s what Marines are expected to do.” said Perez.



    Date Taken: 02.19.2021
    Date Posted: 02.19.2021 21:29
    Story ID: 389446
    Location: US

    Web Views: 3,765
    Downloads: 1