Off Duty Marine Saves Three Children Caught In Rip Current

 September 16, 2021

Rip currents are dangerous tides that occur naturally in coastal waters. So when three North Carolina children were swept away, one Marine sergeant did not hesitate to jump in and save them.

More Than Just A Blue Angel...

Sgt. Zachary Parsons, who is a part of the Navy Blue Angels demonstration, was given the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for "his actions which directly resulted in the saving of three lives."

When he was a corporal, Parsons was at the Memorial Park beach in Pine Knoll Shores with his wife on May 26, 2019.

Parsons jumped into the water to help save three children who had been dragged out from shore. At 2:30 in the afternoon, Parsons saw the children get knocked off their feet and begin to struggle to make it back to shore.

Assisting The Children

Their father went out to try to get them, but soon after, he needed help too. So Parsons told his wife to call 911 and ran to see what he could do to help.

He grabbed a boogie board and jumped into the water. SO1 Palmer was also there and went into the water as well.

Parsons gave Palmer the boogie board, took one of the children from him, and swam back to the shore. Palmer went out to the father and the other two children.

Parsons brought the three-year-old to shore, then grabbed another flotation device and headed back out. The children were still getting pulled further out into the ocean.

Parsons and Palmer put the two boys onto the flotation device and swam parallel to the shore to get out of the current and safely back to shore. Unfortunately, the father was nowhere near the kids at the time.

Finding The Father

According to the summary, "Exhausted from his efforts, Parsons transferred the children over to the emergency services. He then began to visually search for the father who was last seen when he began to signal for help."

Once the father was finally located, paramedics were not able to revive him.

“Sgt. Parsons’ heroism that day serves as a testament to the deep-rooted desire to serve and protect that represent the core values of the United States Military."

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10 comments on “Off Duty Marine Saves Three Children Caught In Rip Current”

      1. Jesus be the spiritual father of these survivors enjoin the wife give her strength and show her you love her in her time of need.

  1. As a former Marine, OORAH. This marine did what was right. It is too bad that he was unable to save the dad. Semper Fi, marine.

  2. Yep, sounds like a jar-head, putting others before himself. Thanks for holding the tradition Marine. Semper-Fi… do or die. 3rdMARDIV Vietnam Vet

  3. Here's some good advice, if caught in a rip tide do not fight it. Ride it out parallel to the shore line. When it lessens you can safely swim to shore.

    1. Simply swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the rip current and then you can return to shore. We see the youngsters who almost live at the beach do this pretty much daily! They know how to defeat this deadly current and basically just go with the flow and don't try to swim against it as they know how to just go farther down the shore to get out of it.
      The SO1 definitely knows this and apparently the Cpl. also knew how to do this as well.. Glad they did what is right and saved three lives that day. Unfortunately they were unable to save the Dad.

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