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Lodi resident Jeremy Austin awarded Medal of Valor for rescuing stranded swimmer

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Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:16 am, Sat Oct 1, 2011.

Lt. Jeremy Austin, 36, didn’t expect to win an award when he took his family to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on March 23, 2010. But a decision by the Mule Creek State Prison corrections officer to jump into the frigid ocean to rescue a drowning swimmer eventually led to him receiving a medal of valor from the governor.

“At first I went through all the reasons I wasn’t going to get involved,” Austin said as he recounted the events at his Lodi home Friday afternoon. “I had my kids there and I thought he was too far out, but only one other person was trying to do anything and he never made it to the breaks. I knew (the stranded swimmer) had no other hope.”

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