Long Beach Fire Department Lifeguard Divers Tuesday located and returned a prosthetic leg to U.S. Paralympic athlete Dewalt Mix.
Dewalt Mix, a U.S. Paralympic athlete training to compete in Tokyo in the javelin, lost his prosthetic leg Sunday while swimming with his girlfriend and friend in the area off Island White in Long Beach. They set off on his friend's boat.
"I was climbing on the boat and didn't realize it came off," Mix said.
Local news from across Southern California
There was a lot of activity on the water. He didn’t think he’d ever get his leg back because the visibility was extremely poor with depths of 30-65 feet.
LBFD Rescue Boat Two deployed public safety divers into the water and started searching on Monday.
"I went back home to Santa Monica without much hope of finding anything," he said.
He got help from LBPD divers, but attempts to find Dewalt’s black carbon fiber leg were once again unsuccessful.
Mix said he got a phone call Tuesday while he was out running errands on crutches.
"And so I pick up and he says, 'Dewalt, we have some news for you. Check your phone -- I sent you some messages," Dewalt said. "So I look and that’s what I see -- the photo of the hand coming out."
"They are solely responsible for this being a possibility right now because otherwise this took me seven months to be built," he said.
Without it, that would have been 7 months he’d be unable to properly training for the Paralympics.
COVID-19 has delayed the start, but he says he is more than ever ready to compete once the games are given the green light.