Dear Local Paper:
Many of you have asked for my reply to the Baywatch Kate newspaper. Here you go:
Dear Mr. Kolnos:
My name is Meghan Jarvis and I’m the kayaker referenced in your article on the beach rescue that took place yesterday morning. It seems clear you sourced your information from the fire chief, who wasn’t on the scene. I wanted to clarify a few things:
I am a 45-year-old, pretty out of shape WOMAN, mother of three, mini-van driving, trauma therapist. I heard four calls for help while I sat in a deck chair reading a book in the wee hours of the morning. I hauled my kayak from a driveway and ran down to the water. I was paddling in the general direction of the swimmer by “help” number three…
I’m a life long town resident. As a child, everyone I knew was devastated by a drowning of a local, beloved teenager at Riley’s beach. When the help calls stopped I kept screaming to Kate asking if she could still see his head, I was petrified he’d gone under…
There was no additional swimmer — just Kate who tied up her brand new puppy and jumped into the water to help and another beach walker who called 911. After the rescue folks plucked the distressed swimmer from the water, Kate and I got ourselves back to shore.
At the shore we found a police officer and a family we’s woken with our shouting. The family had been about to gas up their boat to help. Everyone was relieved and grateful for a good outcome.
Obviously these details don’t matter much. The swimmer ultimately claimed he was fine and didn’t want/need help and in fact never even said thank you. Given the tide, the current, his age and health and distance from the shore, he was obviously in danger — either way, I’m incredibly glad he is safe.
What I do know, however, is that it was the efforts of three quick-thinking, fast-acting women that assured the swimmer his safety — the only men involved here were in distress or a paid rescue force. I’m glad the firemen got a shout out in your column. If you are going to bother to report the rest, I’d appreciate being described as a terrified middle-aged woman (rather than a male kayaker who just happened upon the scene) who worked in tandem with two female strangers to get the job done before most folks were awake.
In the short reply I received the reporter, he explained there had been a byline error and someone else had written the article. He did, however, offer to change my gender to female in the online article.
I’ll always take a win. No matter how small.