Recognizing Paul Bandy, Aimee Johns, and Heath Braddock

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 11, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PANETTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the heroism of Paul Bandy; his wife, Aimee Johns; and Heath Braddock.

On a clear summer day last year, Steve Breummer, a triathlete, was doing his routine swim about 150 yards off the coast in Monterey Bay when he was attacked by a great white shark. Pulled under water, bitten across his thigh and abdomen, and bleeding profusely, Steve saw the cold black eye of that predator, fought him off, and yelled for help.

Paul, a police officer, and Aimee, a nurse, heard the cries and paddleboarded to the victim. Heath, who was onshore, grabbed a surfboard and joined in the rescue. Even though there was blood on top of the water and a shark lurked under the water, all three heroes were undeterred, got to Steve, got him out of the water, and saved his life.

For their actions, the rescuers have been honored by the Red Cross and the Carnegie Commission.

Steve, although not yet doing triathlons, is walking and swimming again.

Today, Mr. Speaker, I honor all of them for the determination to fight in the face of danger; for their will to act, despite it being to their detriment; and fulfilling what it means to be a hero in our community on the central coast and in our country.