Marine rescues drowning teen in North Topsail Beach - Topsail Voice: News

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Marine rescues drowning teen in North Topsail Beach


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Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:00 am

N. TOPSAIL BEACH – A teenager struggling in the water near an ocean pier was rescued by a US Marine last week.

Sergeant Stephan A. Gladding, 25, who is with Battalion Landing Team 3/8, 26th MEU, was at the beach in the early afternoon on Aug. 7.

He’d brought his surfboard and intended to do some surfing when he noticed someone struggling to stay above water.

A teenager had drifted in about 200 yards from the shore and approximately 100 yards from the far end of the Seaview Pier. 

Gladding jumped on his surfboard and paddled out to retrieve the teenager.  

“I saw him and didn’t see any boats coming or anyone else jumping in so I just started paddling as hard and as fast as I could,” Gladding said. “I thought I was his only hope.”

Gladding put the teen on his surfboard and brought him back to shore where authorities from North Topsail Beach took over.

Gladding noted that there were strong rip currents that day.

Rip current warnings had been issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration because of the lunar tides and the remnants of Tropical Storm Colin.

Gladding is stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. His hometown is Portland, Michigan.

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  • anonymous posted at 2:14 pm on Sun, Aug 22, 2010.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    Sgt. Stephen Gladding--I am the grandma of the teenager thatyou saved from drowning--There are nowords as to how selfless and kind youare--I know of no one with such a beautiful and kind heart for a completestranger--My grandson is a very low-key type of young man, but I know hewill be forever thankful- Garrett also hasa kind heart! Garrett's grandma -Tandy

  • anonymous posted at 5:54 pm on Tue, Aug 17, 2010.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    The teenager that nearly drowned is my nephew, Garrett. I cannot thank Sergeant Stephan A. Gladding enough for what he did. Our family is so lucky that he was surfing so close by, that day. He is a true hero for risking his own well-being to save a complete stranger. I also hope that the Marine Corps gives him some recognition for his bravery and service to the community. If they don't, I hope he knows that he will forever be in my prayers. The gratitude that I feel is beyond words. May God bless you Sergeant Stephan A. Gladding and always keep you safe!

  • anonymous posted at 3:33 pm on Sat, Aug 14, 2010.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    I hope the Marine Corps gives some recognition to the sergeant's bravery and service to the community. He is a credit to the Corps.

  • anonymous posted at 4:28 pm on Fri, Aug 13, 2010.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    OORah Way to go Marine!