By COLlive reporter
When tragedy struck, this man risked his life for another.
The Bal Harbour Police Department and Chesed Shel Emes (CSE) – Florida Division honored Tuesday Police Officer George Waisman who saved a man’s life.
Waisman, a Police Officer who was off duty at the time, jumped into the water off Haulover Inlet when 3 visitors from New York got caught in a rip current. Rabbis Chaim Parnes and Yitzchak Rosenberg were unconscious and did not survive.
But Waisman managed to save the life of Aaron Wurzberger by pulling him to the shore. Participants at the ceremony on Tuesday at Bal Harbour City Village praised Waisman for his altruistic valor and brave actions risking his life for people he had never met.
Waisman was honored with a plaque presented by Chief Mark Overton of the Bal Harbour PD, Bal Harbour Mayor Martin Packer, and Mark Rosenberg, director of Chesed Shel Emes and Chaplain of Florida Highway Patrol.
“I’m Jewish, but I had never prayed before that day,” Waisman commented. “The first time I ever prayed was when I tried to lift the man up from the water.”
Waisman said he got the call as he was driving to work early that morning of Tuesday, May 17. “I drove through the bushes onto the beach and saw a lifeguard doing CPR on a victim,” he recalled.
“People around there said there were more people in the water,” he said. “I grabbed a jet ski and jumped off the board, into the water. I heard a man shouting for help. I just jumped in and tried to save him.”
The humble officer added, “I don’t know where I suddenly got the strength to lift the man onto the jet ski and get him to safety.”
Rosenberg said, “Wurzberger told me that he was fighting the rip tide, and was screaming to G-d, ‘Only You can save me.’ Miraculously, at that moment, Waisman appeared and pulled him to safety.”
“This courageous act by Officer Waisman, who fearlessly jumped into powerful rip currents that could easily take his own life and pulled a man out before returning to make an effort to save others, will live on and will be remembered forever by the Wurzberger family and all of us who were touched by his courageous act of bravery,” Rosenberg said.