MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Two Medford boys who were hailed as heroes after rushing into the ocean at Hampton Beach to rescue a woman knocked over by a wave were honored by their middle school on Wednesday.
Jacob Wright and Zach Bertocchi, both 12 years old, were taken by surprise when Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke paid tribute to their courageous act in front of their entire class.
“I thought the only important thing that was happening today was picture day but I guess I was wrong,” Wright said.
Back on Aug. 20, Wright and Bertocchi raced into the water after watching Maggie Hand of Salisbury get pushed under.
“Every time (the water) went back out, my body would just get pushed further and further away and just go with the waves,” she recalled. “I panicked. I totally panicked.”
Hand remembers each boy grabbing her arms to keep her head above water before others ran in to bring her back to shore.
She got to thank the children during the surprise ceremony.
“I was in trouble and I don’t think I would’ve made it if it wasn’t for the two boys,” she said. “It was scary and I appreciate the boys. They’ll be forever in my heart.”
Principal Michael Downs says the two boys are what the school is all about.
“They’re the two kind of kids that you go to them and ask them to do anything for you and they will,” he said. “They’re just fantastic human beings.”
(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)