An Atlanta teen and older family friend both drowned after the 16-year-old selflessly jumped into action to rescue four younger children stuck in an undercurrent while on a trip to Florida last week.
Bryce Brooks was with relatives in Pensacola for spring break when his life was cut short after he dove into the ocean to help four kids stranded in the ocean, his grieving family said Monday.
During the heroic rescue, Brooks went under and family friend Charles Johnson II went to help the high schooler. But Johnson also died, Brooks’ stepfather Shivy Brooks said during a press conference streamed by Fox 5 Atlanta.
“The selflessness that it takes for someone to make such a sacrifice, to do so at only the age of 16, we’re so proud as parents how our son has shown up in this moment,” Shivy Brooks said… “Let it be amplified that Atlanta developed kids that would give up their life for others that they didn’t even know.”
“Bryce is a hero,” he added. “He literally saved the lives of four kids at the expense of his own and the world should know.”
Other adults on the beach were able to retrieve both teen and adult, and life-saving measures were taken on the beach, Shivy Brooks said, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The two were also airlifted to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Bryce died from cardiac arrest, his stepfather said, according to the newspaper.
The young man leaves behind his parents and a younger brother.
Johnson leaves behind three sons and a wife, the Brooks family said.
The incident happened in a part of the Perdido Key where no lifeguards were stationed, WEAR reported.
“What I want the world to know about our son and Uncle Chuck is that one thing is for sure is they loved each other,” mother Crystal Brooks said.
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