Tourist who rescued snorkellers was just doing the right thing’
An American tourist who rescued two snorkellers stranded on rocks played down his heroics as just “doing the right thing”.
Allen Yannone sprang into action after two fellow Americans got into trouble after they were battered against rocks by waves at Southampton’s Church Bay.
Mr Yannone was relaxing on the beach when he thought he heard faint cries for help.
He said: “The thing I remember about it the most was I thought it was a bird.
“It didn’t sound like a person. So I was kind of confused.”
But he went to investigate and found a “frantic” woman on the shoreline who told him two people were trapped on the rocks.
Mr Yannone swam out and found two people standing on rocks offshore bleeding from cuts.
He said: “I think they had been thrown on to the rocks.
“The waves were coming in — there was no way they could get back into the water.”
Mr Yannone thought the injuries to the man and woman were not serious and decided to walk the pair, Paul Trenholm and his sister Anita, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, along the rocks back to the safety of the beach.
However, after 20 minutes, he saw calm water and decided it was safe to swim.
The man and woman were very appreciative when they arrived safely back on the shore.
Mr Yannone, who was in Bermuda on a cruise, said: “Never in my mind did I feel like it was out of hand or that we were in any grave danger.”
The incident happened on May 29.
The grateful pair launched a social media search for their rescuer after they returned home and Mr Yannone’s mother contacted him after his face was “plastered all over the internet”.
A picture of Mr Yannone and the two people he had rescued were posted on Facebook in an attempt to identify him.
Mr Yannone, from Massachusetts, said: “They were very scared. And I didn’t realise really how scared they were until last week when they reached out and they thanked me.”
He described the way he was thanked as “humbling”.
Mr Yannone said: “Realising that these people were trying to find me for four days was incredible.
“It is such a humbling, humbling experience for something that I would do ten out of ten times.” But he added that his actions required no thanks.
Mr Yannone said: “For them to reach out the way they did — it was incredible.
“I thought I would never see them again or even hear from them again — never mind have a manhunt on the East Coast trying to find me.
“I can’t thank them enough for doing that. That’s very unnecessary, but it makes me feel very good about what happened and what I did.”
He said he had spoken with the family “a few times” since their ordeal and that the group hoped to meet later this year.
Mr Yannone added: “They know they have a friend in Boston and I know I have a friend in Philly when I do go.”