When Zac and Cindy Edwards got married earlier this month, they were expecting a regular wedding.
The couple had planned the event in only a week and were anxious to spend the rest of their lives together. The ceremony at Orange Beach, off the Gulf Coast, went well.
It was officiated by Pastor Glenn Henson, and later, the wedding party met on the beach for photos.
But while the photographer was taking pictures, a woman approached the wedding party and told them a teenager was struggling in the water.
In an interview with Fox10 News, Cindy said:
“A lady came up to us and said that guy is out there struggling. He can’t get back, he’s having a hard time.”
The lifeguards on duty were already helping someone else, and the teenager was slowly being pulled away from the shore.
Luckily, Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Zac Edwards had also been a former lifeguard— and his new wife told him to get in there now!
Zac stripped off his pristine, white shirt but it wasn’t fast enough for Cindy.
“He went to take off his bottoms and I was like ‘you don’t have time,” she recalled.
“The guy kept drifting farther and farther out and he was struggling.”
The man raced into the water, swimming out to the teen. Although he managed to reach the boy and hold him above the waves, he had trouble swimming back to shore.
“He kept saying, ‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.'” Zac said in a statement from the Coast Guard.
“My goal was to keep his head out of the water.”
Firefighters eventually arrived on the scene, pulling both Zac and the teen to safety.
After the whole ordeal, Zac’s main concern was his new wife, Cindy. “I got up and she’s running out in her wedding dress. I’m bleeding from the nose and trying to tell her to get away because I know how important that was dress was, and I didn’t want to ruin that,” he said.
Although their wedding didn’t go as planned, the newlyweds are happy about their day.
In an interview with ABC News, Zac said:
“I didn’t think that the day that changed my family’s life for the better would change another family’s life for the better too.”
“It’s a story to tell,” he explained. “I told her. The grandkids are going to have a story to tell. It was a perfect day. Beautiful wedding.” Cindy says she got a package deal. “Hero and hubby in the same day,” she gushed to ABC News.
Since the incident, Zac and Cindy have been in touch with the teen. Although he’s a bit sore, he’s doing fine and has just started his senior year of high school.
Since being publicized, Zac’s story has gone completely viral. People love that the newlywed was willing to risk his life to save another, and many have been showing him praise:
“Have a wonderful, happy marriage. GREAT START.”
“Outstanding job Zac. Congratulations. Have a safe and long marriage.”
“Outstanding sir. Thank you for your service.”
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