BRADENTON, Fla. - "Hi! How are you doing? Can I have a hug?" asked Isaac Espinoza. "Oh, scared me, scared me, scared me," he said.
The hugs that happened in a Bradenton parking lot are thank yous from a grateful mom and her five-year-old daughter to their hero.
"All we heard was, 'Somebody call 9-1-1,' so I just rushed over there," said Espinoza. Natallie Porter can't swim and got caught in a rip current off Coquina Beach Saturday.
Isaac Espinoza dove in to save her.
"All the waves were taking me under, taking me under, and when I got to her, she was not moving at all, but her eyes were wide open, you know, wide, scared out of her mind," he said.
The rescue would be extraordinary on any day.
It's even more of a gift because of the pendant Espinoza keeps around his neck.
"I wear it every single day," said Espinoza.
"We all have them to protect us when we go to the beach in the water and stuff," he said.
The 31-year old admits he's not a strong swimmer. He was breathless, exhausted, and coughing-up water.
"I would want somebody to do that for my family member, if my family member was out there," explained Espinoza.
Natallie's family came to say thank you to their hero.
But they left even more grateful than they expected.