Lighthouses and their keepers have often been known for saving ships and lives from the dangers of Mother Nature. History has documented dozens of rescue missions by lighthouse keepers who often risked their own lives for the lives of others.
But on a warm June evening, another life saving event happened near the lighthouse at Mentor Headlands Beach State Park. It seems that an elderly man was walking his dog near the edge of the beach when the dog decided to splash into the water after a stick. The strong waves pounded the dog as it struggled to get back to land. The man waded in after the dog but was quickly knocked over as well.
Both the man and the dog were struggling return to shore when Mentor High school friends Carolyn Wochele and Tori Lenase, who happened to be nearby, sprang into action. Carolyn jumped into the waves and grabbed the dog while Tori ran in and grabbed the man. Both were pulled safely to shore. While the entire incident took just seconds, the quick-thinking teens saved both the man and the dog from what could have been a terrible tragedy.
I read the Fox News story of the life-saving rescue and was so impressed with the courage of the girls, that I reached out via Facebook to invite them on a personal tour of the lighthouse. Due to a conflict, Carolyn was not able to attend, but Tori came with her Mother and younger brother. I enjoyed providing them a tour, telling them about the history of Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse, and thanking Tori for their brave actions. I gifted Tori a Cat’s Meow designed plaque with a drawing of the lighthouse and hope to see her and Carolyn again in the future.