SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Lunch on San Francisco's beautiful Embarcadero turned into a sudden rescue operation. A man is lucky to be alive Thursday afternoon after two strangers jumped into the freezing San Francisco Bay to save him.
Witnesses say the man stood up abruptly, started to take his clothes off, and jumped into the water.
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Both of the strangers couldn't ignore what was happening in the water. "He started calling for his dad, delirious," said one of the rescuers Jeremy Kistler. "And he started going underneath, the water in his mouth and he really looked like he was going to go under and not come up."
"All of a sudden his head dropped below the water and that is when I knew it was time to kind of time to hop in," said the other rescuer John Mahowald.
Mahowald is a former life guard while Kistler was simply a guy having lunch at Pier 23 on a sunny day.
Once they reached the drowning man, restaurant staff put a ladder in the water and the victim managed to climb to safety. Medics rushed him to the hospital where he is recovering.
In the meantime, two men whose paths never crossed before Thursday now share a heroic experience and a new friendship.