8 July 2022

Heroes Among Us!

This modest young man does not like talking about himself, but his feat speaks for him.


On a hot summer day in 2021, seventeen-year-old Leon Bartsits and his friends were hanging out on the beach of the Bambora village in Gudauta. Suddenly they heard cries for help from the sea. A catamaran was sinking nearby. Leon saw this, took a nearby surfboard to help the people in trouble. He had never tried such a board before, the waves were beating and rocking the guy from side to side. And so it was necessary to reach them quickly!


There were six people in distress: three men, two girls and one child about six years old. The catamaran is meant for only four people, and the worst was yet to come due to overload, its left side cracked and began to go under water.


When Leon reached the people, the adults handed him the child. His mother, holding on to the board, were swimming all the way to the shore with them. The forces were running out, but now Leon had a terrified kid on an unstable board, so one can’t think about oneself. Thoughts were rushing through Leon’s head like a whirlwind: “If only the child didn’t slip into the sea! If only his mother didn’t let the him go and start drowning! You have to be strong, you have to pull the board to the shore!”


Leon’s school algebra teacher, who was also resting on the beach, organized help to the exhausted young man. The locals came to help in a boat and rescued tourists, and our Leon soon woke up famous throughout Abkhazia.


Not all heroes wear capes. The feat of Leon Bartsits did not go unnoticed, in May 2022 he became the winner of the “Hot Heart” award, his courage was noted by Aslan Bzhania, President of the Republic, who assisted the young man in entering the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.