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Heroic lifeguard single-handedly saves several people from drowning

GALVESTON, Texas – A lifeguard supervisor with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol, Mary Stewart, says she was patrolling the beach Saturday. Waves were choppy, winds were strong and five people were swimming too deep.

"They were out too far and weren't strong swimmers and they panicked," Stewart said.

Stewart says the area between the Pleasure Pier and the jetty is typically a dangerous place to swim, but she says Saturday it was almost hopeless as she tried to rescue a group of drowning visitors and they were beginning to overpower her.

"I would just go under to regain my breath and strength and grab back onto them," Stewart said.

Fighting to stay in control, she says she experienced a wave of strength.

"I kept telling them not to give up. They kept saying no, you could just see it in their eyes, and I just kept saying to not give up because nothing's worth giving up on a life, especially yours. So I wasn't going to fail," she said.

She didn't fail one person that day, including herself. Balancing a few people at a time on a buoy, she managed to swim each person back on shore to first responders.

"I couldn't have done it or be a hero without them and I'm thankful I can be here to share my story," Stewart said.

Posted by KPRC2 Haley Hernandez on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's a true story with a valuable lesson!

"Don't give up on yourself and don't give up on anybody else because in the end it's worth it," she said.

Stewart said through this she learned it's easiest to give up, but she found her strength in holding it together. It's a good skill to have since she's studying to be a nurse.

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