MELBOURNE, Fla. – Tyler Brueck and Alex Byrd heard the noise, but they didn’t know exactly what it was right away.
Brueck and Byrd were boogie boarding on Melbourne Beach in Florida on April 7, thinking at the time it was just going to be a normal, relaxing day while on spring break with their lacrosse team from Clarkston High School in Michigan.
It turned out to be anything but normal from the moment they heard the noise.
“We noticed these two kids five to 10 (yards) out to the right of us and we were maybe 50 yards from the shore,” Brueck said. “We heard screaming. We weren’t sure if they were just messing around or what’s happening. After paying closer attention, we hear ‘Help me.’ It was a boy and a girl.”
The kids were caught in a rip current and in need of rescuing, and Brueck and Byrd probably felt they weren't so qualified for the task, considering neither had never had any previous lifeguard training.
But instinct took over and Brueck and Byrd swam toward the children.
Byrd grabbed the boy, while Brueck put the girl in his arm, as both teens initially struggled with the rip current themselves.
“I had her around my one arm and I was trying to swim with the other,” Brueck said. “I knew to swim horizontally, so that’s what I was doing. I was trying to use the waves to propel me forward. It was working and I got to calmer waters and carried her out to shore.”