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July 25, 2013

Local man saves drowning couple in Florida

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

A Florida vacation heralded a Laurel man as a hero after his quick actions saved a drowning couple.

Josh Weaver, the 20-year-old son of Wayne Weaver and Michelle Weaver of London, had just come out of the ocean on Saturday to put his sunglasses away. Weaver accompanied his girlfriend and her family to Destin for a week at the beach and was waiting to check into their beach-front condo when he heard someone calling for help.

“The beach was red-flagged due to the riptide currents,” Weaver said. “I saw two people way out in the water.”

Their cries for help prompted the young Laurel man to borrow a ‘boogie board’ from a boy at the beach so he could help the unknown couple.

“I tied the board to me and swam out to them. It was the hardest swim I’ve ever had,” he added. “I was swimming against the waves, so it was hard.”

Weaver, who is an avid swimmer and worked as a lifeguard at the Levi Jackson Park pool for three years, said the couple — a male and female — were “about 65 yards” from the shore and were about 15 feet from one another.

“It took me about 5 or 6 minutes to go out there to them because the waves were against me and I had to go under them,” Weaver said. “I could see the woman and I could tell the man was trying to get to her, but he couldn’t. She looked like she was in worse shape than he was so I went to her first,” Weaver said. “Then I got to him and we put her on the board and he held onto her. She was unresponsive, but he could still talk, although he was exhausted.”

Despite his prior lifeguard training and experience, Weaver said the swim through the ocean was a battle of his own strength.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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