Bethany Beach Public Works employee Sean Ely was on the beach on Monday, Oct. 3, when he was reportedly flagged down by a woman in need of immediate help.
Very immediate help.
She alerted Ely that her 11-year-old son was stuck in the rough surf and couldn’t make it back to the shore. Ely reacted immediately by calling dispatch at the Bethany Beach Police Department (BBPD), alerting them to the situation, and entered the water in an attempt to save the boy.
He reached the boy, who was in water about 7 feet deep, but couldn’t manage to get back to safety because of the rough water. He managed to keep the boy’s head above water and Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Scharp of the BBPD arrived on the scene.
Scharp saw what was happening, removed his police equipment and gear and entered the water to help save the boy. The officer had the boy hold on to his back and managed to get him back to shore, as Ely also made his way back safely.
That is heroism by two employees of the Town of Bethany Beach. Flat-out heroism.
The entire community should forever be indebted to these individuals, as it could have been anyone’s child in that water. They each thought of someone else’s life before their own, and acted immediately and without hesitation.
Kudos to Sean Ely and Chuck Scharp. And, thank you.