On Oct. 27, a man’s boat capsized after rough waves swept through the Jupiter Inlet, a spot known for its dangerous currents.
Sam — a longtime surfer — was swimming nearby and quickly pulled the man up on his surfboard as the waves pushed him toward the rocks.
After the video of the rescue went viral, Sam said the past two weeks have felt surreal.
"The past two weeks have been pretty great, a lot of people know who I am. My friends at school think it's so cool," he said.
He said media from across the world have picked up the story.
World Surf League, an international surfing sports media network, is planning on doing a story on Sam. A crew from a morning show in Japan even came to Jupiter to film an interview.
"He had his time to shine. He stood up. He's a leader and a role model,” said Kim Gilardi, Sam's mom. “I see the joy in him and the joy in us and it's a good opportunity to celebrate him being a gentleman and a leader."
Sam says he still hasn't heard from the man he rescued but is glad that the man is OK.