Year in Review: Former Cherry Hill East swimmer makes dramatic ocean rescue

Alex Dayton’s story about saving a woman from the ocean in Sea Isle City was the №2 most read Cherry Hill Sun story of 2018.

One of the most popular stories in the Cherry Hill Sun in 2018 was about an ordinary resident who became a hero to one woman down the shore in the summer.

In August, Cherry Hill Sun reporter Jack Tomczuk spoke with 20-year-old Alex Dayton, a former swimmer at Cherry Hill East and lifeguard of five years after Dayton saved a woman who nearly drowned in the ocean in Sea Isle City.

On Aug. 2, Dayton was enjoying a day at the beach with her family when she heard numerous people screaming. After hearing that a young woman was drowning in the water, Dayton darted into action, swimming about 30 to 40 yards into the ocean to rescue the woman.

“I wasn’t really thinking,” Dayton said in August. “I just wanted to get her safe.”

“I think in about two more minutes she would have gone under,” she added. “It seemed like she was fighting for a while to stay above water.”

The woman was later identified as Destiny Boyd, who could not be reached for comment on the story. According to Alex and her mom, Isabella, Boyd wrapped her arms around Alex and both started sinking. Once Alex began pulling Boys toward the shore, they received assistance from an unidentified man.

Isabella talked of how proud she was of her daughter following the ocean rescue.

“Honestly, she did not think of herself,” Isabella said. “For a mother to see that and for a beach to be clapping for her daughter when she came out of the ocean, it was amazing.”

Alex credited her training as a swimmer and lifeguard to her success in saving Destiny.

“I’m just grateful for my past experience as a lifeguard,” she said.

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