Zac Edwards saves teen From Drowning In Sea.
A brave groom interrupted his own wedding photographs to strip down and dive into the ocean to rescue a drowning teenager.
Heroic Zac Edwards, 37, was posing for photos with his bride Cindy Edwards, 32, when a woman screamed out after spotting the teenager struggling in the water.
The marine science technician immediately dived into the water in Orange Beach, Alabama, and swam 150 feet (50 metres) out to rescue the boy.
The teenager had been pulled out on a boogie board by strong currents at 6pm on August 3 as Zac Edwards and Cindy were having their pre-wedding photographs taken.
Zac Edwards reached the teenager and propped him up on the boogie board to keeping his head above water.
He explained: “Cindy and I were taking our photos together by the water and we were just wrapping them up when a woman told us there was a teenager in the water struggling.
“You could just tell by the look on his face he was in difficulty. When we first saw him he was about 50 yards out. I took off my shirt, but my wife said I didn’t have time to take off my pants.
“I ran into the water. I told some kids to go back to the beach and I took a boogie board. I’m so glad I did that. I eventually reached him but we were about half a football field away from the shore. He just kept saying ‘I can’t breathe’.
“I tried to keep his head above water and I propped him up onto the boogie board.”
Stood on the beach, Cindy, a sales manager, was worried than her new husband was growing tired.
But brave Zac Edwards was assisted by first responders from Orange Beach Fire Department and Orange Beach Surf Rescue who had been attending to another emergency on the beach.
Zac Edwards helped first responders wedge the teen onto a jetski before jumping on himself and returning to shore.
Zac Edwards continued: “The current was really strong and it was stopping us coming in any further. I was starting to panic slightly. The pants were making it hard to kick too.
“But when I saw the first responders I knew it was going to be okay. A jet ski came out to us and I managed to wedge him up onto it.
“I didn’t really take in the gravity of the situation until I laid down that night. Afterwards my hands were shaking but the adrenaline was just pumping.”
Cindy added: “I wasn’t panicked until they were swimming back in. I could tell Zac was tiring and they couldn’t get over the current.
“They had stopped and I was worried. Thank God the first responders arrived. The life guards dived into the water and there were helicopters patrolling the waters. Our emergency services in Orange Beach can’t be commended enough.”
Luckily, the teenager has recovered from the incident but Zac Edwards said it is important to exercise water safety when visiting beaches.
Cindy and Zac, who each have three children, said they are extremely cautious when they spot the high hazard red flag on their local beaches.
Zac explained: “I think people underestimate the ocean. It wasn’t his fault at all but it was a red flag day. People don’t read the signs and swimmers need to be very cautious. Even experienced swimmers can get into difficulty.
“I wouldn’t let my kids go more than knee deep on a red flag day.”
The couple, who had been together for a year before tying the knot, shocked their 35 guests when they turned up at their reception soaking wet and covered in sand.
Cindy said: “Our guests were completely lost when we arrived at the reception. I was soaking wet and my dress was covered in sand.”
Zac added: “I didn’t bring extra clothes to the wedding but I did have some board shorts so I just changed into them. I was a bit more dressed down than my beautiful bride but they were more comfortable than my pants were actually.”
Pastor Glenn Henson who officiated the wedding commended the groom for his act of bravery saying: “It was incredible. The fact that this man took time out of his special day to save someone else was really special.”