A heroic father has sacrificed himself and saved the lives of his three daughters before drowning as the family got caught up in a riptide.
It was July 14 when 53-year-old Fred Pepperman from Tennessee took his family on a trip to the Miramar Beach in Florida, US.
As fate would have it, the pleasant outing turned into a nightmare as Fred’s 16-year-old daughter Grace got trapped in a powerful riptide.
Following her calls for help, sister Kathryn, 24, and Olivia, 20, swam towards her in order to attempt to save Grace from drowning. They too, however, found themselves swept away by the strong currents and in need of a rescue.
Fred was able to reach the girls in time and rescue them by placing them on a board before pushing them towards the shore.
Unfortunately, as the girls turned around to see their father, he was already gone, swallowed by the currents.
“My husband and I weren’t in the water, our older children got out there first and then we got out there,” Julie, Fred’s wife, said in a statement to Daily Mail.
“When you cross the boardwalk to go down to the beach, there were no signs there or anything. There were waves but you can’t see a riptide. There were other people on the beach and in the water, nobody knew on the beach really.
“Fred wasn’t in the water, and we didn’t know it was double red flags, there were no flags. I have been contacted by people at the beach who were staying in the area and they didn’t know either.”
Speaking of the day she wishes would never come to pass, the heartbroken wife added:
“Olivia told me that when he put her on the board for the second time and tried to push her in and my brother-in-law caught her and passed her on to a Good Samaritan.
“She looked back on him and he was watching her, and he said ‘go, get out of here.’ When they turned around to help, that’s when he was gone. It was like he tried to stay above the water to make sure she was really going to be safe.”
“I got you,” were the heroic father’s last words to his daughters.
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