Army veteran helps save 12-year-old boy with autism from drowning
A 44-year-old army veteran helped rescue a 12-year-old boy with autism from drowning after the latter got caught in a rip current in Florida in the United States.
Steven Jetton, who served in the US Marine Corps, was with his family at Princess Beach on Aug. 29 when he heard the boy and his uncle screaming for help.
He then saw the two struggling in the water over 90 meters away from the shore, as per the Northwest Florida Daily News on Sept. 9.
“I looked up and down the beach, and knew I was the only one who could help them,” Jetton said.
Grabbing his own surfboard, he rushed toward the two despite tough waves. Authorities had issued a warning for strong currents at the time, but the man and his nephew still went out to the water. Other swimmers ignored the warning as well.
“It wasn’t huge, but it was rough,” he told the newspaper.
Jetton, who is a devout Christian, also prayed to God to calm the rough waters as he made his way to the boy and his uncle.
As he neared the two, the uncle told Jetton to reach for his nephew first. When Jetton reached the boy, he was barely above the water.
The uncle then swam toward Jetton and held onto his surfboard to stay afloat. Shortly after, Jetton spotted lifeguards approaching them.
Members of the rescue team were on jet skis and helped bring Jetton, the boy and his uncle safely back to shore, as per report. Following the rescue, the boy and his uncle were taken to a medical center for observation before getting discharged.
As for Jetton, he said that the adrenaline from the incident prompted him to try and surf again. However, a member from the rescue team advised him not too.
“I was talking to the last lifeguard on the beach, and my legs gave out from under me,” he added.
Jetton later urged the public not to surf or get into the water if authorities warn of strong waves. Ryan Arcadio /ra
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