A heroic triathlete hailing from Farnham has made headlines for his extraordinary bravery during a trip in Cape Town.
Toby Finneran, 31, saved not one but two young lives within a span of just ten minutes after noticing two boys drowning off the South African coast.
On a sunny Sunday in Cape Town, Toby was enjoying a leisurely stroll along the seafront promenade when he noticed a young boy struggling to stay afloat in the surf.
Without hesitation, Toby dived into the water, braving treacherous waves, rip currents and jagged rocks at Queen’s Beach to rescue the distressed child.
Once out of the water, Toby quickly turned his attention to another teenager who had valiantly attempted to save his friend but ended up being overwhelmed by the powerful waves, washing ashore unconscious.
Toby provided vital first aid to the teenage boy before the arrival of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and paramedics.
Both boys received treatment from emergency services, with one experiencing symptoms of hypothermia and secondary drowning.
Fortunately, they survived the ordeal, thanks to Toby’s quick and decisive actions.
But despite his heroic acts, in an interview with the Daily Mail, Toby expressed surprise at the overwhelming support and gratitude he has received since the incident. He humbly stated: “I don’t feel like a hero – if someone is in trouble, then you should help.”
Toby, an Ironman triathlete, emphasised his incredible swimming abilities are a relatively recent development.
Reflecting on his journey, he shared how the Covid-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for positive change.
Previously trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle, Toby transformed his life and health during lockdown.
His passion for running grew from a 20-minute daily goal to completing marathons and eventually participating in Ironman triathlons.
Currently, Toby splits his time between the UK and South Africa, where he has launched a tech consulting business.
Alongside his athletic pursuits, he also plays cricket for a local team.
Describing the pandemic as a wake-up call for many, Toby expressed contentment with his new life in South Africa, saying, “I’m here chasing the sun!”