Former All-American Runner Rescued From Drowning

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 28, 2011

Two 14-year-olds pulled him from the surf.

Tim Gruber was once an accomplished distance runner. The 51-year-old was a 1978 graduate of Aptos High in California and attended Humboldt State University where he earned All-American honors three times.

He is alive today thanks to two 14-year-old boys who rescued him from the ocean. Gruber had injured his head and neck while out surfing. “He didn’t have a pulse,” said Gruber’s wife, Teresa. “He was clinically dead.”

Luckily a nurse and doctor were on the beach and attempted CPR on Gruber as soon as he was brought to shore.

A member of the eventual rescue team, Michelle Cumming noted the importance of the doctor’s and nurse’s response.

“As a paramedic and first responder, I know how important bystanders’ CPR is,” she said. “Without that, we wouldn’t have had the result we had.”

As of last Sunday, Gruber was in intensive care. He was eventually transferred to a regular room. He expects to be moved to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.

For More: Mercury News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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