Marine Swims 70 Yards Against Riptide to Save Drowning Child

beachNeed a pick-me-up for your day? This ought to do the trick. A Marine has been nominated for a hero's award after saving a drowning child's life. But Sgt. Michael Austin Pickett doesn't talk about himself as a hero.

When the father of a little boy told his own dad about his recent day at the beach, Pickett may have mentioned a kid splashing around in the water whom he had to help. But that's not even half the story!


Pickett was apparently off-duty, hanging at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina, when he saw an 8-year-old boy struggling out in the water. The kid had already been dragged some 70 yards out to sea by a rip current, but that didn't stop this brave serviceman from running straight into the water, fighting the current, and saving his life.

But just get what Pickett's dad had to say about his son's heroics in an interview with the Times Free Press:

We really didn’t know the full extent until we read the Marines’ release later. He just said, "The kid was splashing around and I swam out there and dragged him in," instead of telling us he swam out in a rip current.

A humble hero. Sigh. We don't have enough of those in this world.

Heck, hero may be a word that's over-used in our society, in no small part because people are always looking for their moment in the spotlight. There's a lot of people grabbing for credit. 

But I'd say it applies to a guy like Pickett, a Marine who does things not for the glory, but because they have to be done, who helps because he CAN and he knows he should. As Pickett said:

Marines are trained more than the average person, and if we can use the skills we have been taught to help someone in need, I think we should do it, no questions asked.

Oorah! We need more people who think that way!

By the way, did I mention this kid was a stranger? He wasn't Pickett's son (who is 5) or even his nephew. He was just a kid in trouble. Lucky for him, Marine Sgt. Michael Pickett decided to go to the beach that day.

What would you have done in this Marine's situation?


Image via DeusXFlorida/Flickr

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