Suncoast visitor gets to thank teen who saved his life

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 6:33 pm | Updated: 6:40 pm, Thu Oct 10, 2013.

SARASOTA - On Monday evening, 15-year-old Sam Somogyi convinced his mom to take him to Turtle Beach so he could surf.

“It was a really choppy day. I had school, I had rowing; it was a wild day.”

Somogyi, a student at Riverview High School, didn’t get to the beach until around 6:30.  “All my friends had already left there because it was pretty much sundown.”

“We don’t usually go the beach on a week night but any chance of surf, evidently the word gets out and he just begged so we were there and it was a reason we were there,” said mother Melody Somogyi.

While riding a wave, Somogyi heard Jonathan Kiviniemi calling for help. Kiviniemi was caught in a strong rip current and credits Somogyi with saving his life.

“I saw him and I jumped off my board and tried to get him on the board as soon as possible.”

It took the pair about 20 minutes to get back to shore and Somogyi and his mom headed home.

“I realized that it was really late and I had to do homework and my mom and I had to get home. We didn’t eat dinner and we were hungry,” laughed Somogyi.

Kiviniemi did not have a chance to tell Somogyi thank you before he left the beach and reached out to ABC 7. Somogyi called into the newsroom late Wednesday night and Kiviniemi was finally able to thank Somogyi in person for saving his life on Monday.

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