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Commissioner Honored For Saving Swimmer

Swimmer Has Trouble Off Miami Beach On Memorial Day

POSTED: Wednesday, June 9, 2010
UPDATED: 1:02 pm EDT June 9, 2010

Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez was awarded a certificate of recognition Wednesday morning for his role in saving a distressed swimmer on Memorial Day.

While on the beach with his family, Suarez spotted a man struggling in a strong current in the ocean at 26th Street and Collins Avenue and swam out to help him.

Watch: Video

"I noticed he was having a hard time and went closer to him and saw he needed help," said Suarez.

Suarez is a former lifeguard for the city of Miami sailing camp. His dad, former Mayor Xavier Suarez, helped form a human chain with other witnesses near shore. In the meantime, other people on the beach called 911 and waited for paramedics.

"Citizens got involved, other citizens got involved, and at the end, lifeguards got there and were able to kind of take on the professional role of making sure he was stable and he was OK. It was perfect teamwork," Suarez said.

Even though he said it was teamwork that helped bring in the 55-year-old Miami Springs man, city rescue workers made sure he was recognized for his good deeds at Miami Beach City Hall on Wednesday.

Suarez has only been a Miami commissioner since November 2009, when he filled now-Mayor Tomas Regalado's District 4 seat.
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