Officials are saying if it weren’t for the bravery of a Pascagoula teenager, four people could potentially have died over the holiday weekend.
According to WLOX, a vehicle with three teenage girls inside somehow drove off the I-10 boat launch into the Pascagoula River. Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer responded to the scene and swam out to help.
Enter Pascagoula High School student Corion Evans, 16, and his friends KJ and Karon Bradley, according to Mississippi Hot Topics. Seeing the vehicle drive “straight under the water” and make it about 20 feet from shore before it sank completely, Evans quickly removed his shoes and shirt and put down his phone, and he was in the water too. KJ Bradley joined him in helping the girls get to the top of the vehicle.
“I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,’” Evans told WLOX. “So, I just started getting them. I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”
Luckily Evans is a strong swimmer. He’s been swimming since he was 3 years old.
Finally, with Evans holding them above water as he swam them in, the girls were taken to safety.
“I turned around. I see the police officer,” Evans said to WLOX. “He’s drowning. He’s going underwater, drowning, saying, ‘Help!’ So, I went over there. I went and I grabbed the police officer and I’m like swimming him back until I feel myself I can walk.”
“The police department and I commend Mr. Evans’s bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger,” Chief Brandon Ashley released this statement to WLOX. “If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely.”
Officer Mercer and the three girls were all taken to the hospital after the incident. They’re now recovering.