AFTER swimming at Alexandra Headland every morning for 12 years, Brian Titter knows the stretch of ocean well.
But a routine swim about three weeks ago went badly wrong and would have cost him his life, if not for the actions of a mystery hero.
The 76-year-old was alone in the water about 6am when he became caught in a rip and was dragged 400 metres out to sea.
His efforts to escape the rip were proving futile and he was beginning to fear his time was up when a youngster, aged about 14, arrived on a fluorescent green board.
It took the young boardrider about 20 minutes to reach him.
"When he turned up I said, 'Thank god you arrived'," Mr Titter (pictured) recounted.
"I reckon he saved my life.
"If he hadn't turned up I wouldn't be around ... I was exhausted."
As Mr Titter clung to the board, the teenager told him to wave while he held one arm up in the air, trying to get the attention of potential helpers.
When Mr Titter suggested the boy leave him to go and get help, the young man was adamant he would not be leaving him alone out in the water.
Eventually they were spotted by life savers who plucked them from the water.
Safely back on the beach, Mr Titter said he missed the opportunity to thank his young friend, who casually wandered off.
Now he wants to find him to say thank you and has been back to the beach every morning looking for him.
"If I saw him again, I'd grab him with open arms," he said.
"Then I would introduce myself to his parents and tell them how proud they should be of their son.
"He had his wits about him that's for sure.
"I owe him my life."
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