The family of a good Samaritan, Francisco Camacho, met Tuesday night with the teenage boy and man whom Camacho died trying to save from drowning.
Juan Ruiz, 14, and his 49-year-old friend were fishing in a restricted area at Cabrillo Beach on Saturday when a large wave knocked them off a jetty.
Camacho, a husband and father of six, jumped in after them and tried to help, but was also swept away.
All three were pulled out of the water a short distance away and taken to the hospital.
Camacho was in grave condition and died a short time later, Los Angeles Port Police Lt. Michael Capodanno told KTLA.
Ruiz told KTLA he had been struggling with feelings of guilt and grief over the death of a man he never knew, but will never forget.
“He’s my hero now,” said Ruiz. “We all love him and we’re all here for them.”
The teenager told Camacho’s wife of 17 years that he was forever indebted to her husband and asked for her forgiveness.
“We’re not mad at them,” Camacho’s widow Olga Diaz said. “He would’ve done it for anyone else. We have kids. I think he went thinking it was one of his.”
Anyone who wishes to help the family may contact Olga Diaz at OlgaDiaz1526@yahoo.com.
Kimberly Cheng contributed to this report.