15-Year-Old Risks His Life to Save a Friend

 Dalton Cooke

Dalton Cooke

Not many 15-year-old kids are as calm under pressure as Fort Bragg High School student, Dalton Cooke.

“He risked his life,” explained his mother, Laurie Haney, “and in doing so, he saved the life of a close friend.”

Jordan Broyles

Jordan Broyles

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 12, Dalton Cooke and his friend Jordan Broyles sat on a ragged cliff near Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. While standing up, Jordan somehow stumbled and then fell over the side. (See photo below to get an idea of how far he fell.)

Dalton, though horrified at what was happening, bounded down the steep bluffs to get to the shore. There he saw his friend floating unconscious face down in the waves. Without regard for his own safety, he jumped in the water and swam to Jordan. Immediately, he began tugging him to shore.

Nearby adults saw what was happening and reached Dalton’s side in time to help pull Jordan from the water.

Crowd of rescuers at the ocean

Crowd of rescuers who helped save Jordan Broyles. [All photos provided by Laurie Haney]

There, the 19-year-old Jordan began to recover consciousness and coughed up some water. “He was then flown to a Santa Rosa hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma,” said Haney. “Miraculously, Jordan didn’t break a single bone.”

The young man didn’t get off completely without injuries. “He had to have some staples in his head and be monitored for pneumonia because of all the salt water he got in his lungs,” Haney explained. “Jordan is now home.” And, she said, the two friends recently got to spend the day together.

Haney said, she is very proud of him and thankful “he and Jordan both made it safely to shore.”

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