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Coastguardsman Pauses His Wedding to Save Swimmer

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Cindy and Zac Edwards on their wedding day (USCG)

By MarEx 2018-08-10 15:56:54

On August 2, an off-duty coastguardsman interrupted his wedding day to rescue a swimmer in distress near Orange Beach, Alabama. 

Shortly after his wedding ceremony, PO2 Zac Edwards, a Coast Guard member stationed at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, was posing for photographs with his new wife on Orange Beach.

A woman approached Edwards and said that there was a young man in the water who was struggling returning to shore. Edwards raced to the water and swam to the man with a floatation device.

“I wasn’t going to let him drown,” Edwards said. “He kept saying, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.' My goal was to keep his head out of the water.”

Edwards pulled the victim towards shore until the current stopped him from making headway. A lifeguard on a jet ski arrived shortly thereafter and pulled Edwards and the young man back to the beach. An EMS team took over to provide the man with medical treatment. 

Edwards said that he is thankful for the work of the first responders who arrived on scene after he ran into the water. “I jumped in one day; they jump in every day,” he said.

“I didn’t think that the day that changed my family’s life for the better would change another family’s life for the better too,” he said.