Three La. high school grads battle violent waves to rescue distressed swimmers during senior trip

Louisiana
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Destin, FL. (WAFB) – In many ways a high school senior trip is the last chance students have to create lifelong memories with their peers. It’s the final moments that make up the stories graduates will share throughout their lives.

Three graduates from Central Private School located in Central, Louisiana will have quite the story to tell after rescuing several distressed swimmers Monday, May 27, while participating in their senior trip to Destin, Florida.

It was a stroke of luck that students decided to delay packing a tent they’d bought out to Crystal Beach in Destin earlier that day. Around 4 p.m., when other students were preparing to attend a dinner, Blake Kolb white shirt, 18, Parker Toural red shorts, 18, and Brant Marshall green shirt, 18, returned to the beach to retrieve the tent. Then the screams started.

Unable to find the source of the screams the teens passed them off as a prank. But, the screams grew louder and more panicked. The young men searched the area and saw several distressed swimmers caught up in a rip current and unable to stay above water.

Kolb reportedly recused a man who was attempting to help the distressed swimmers before beginning to struggle in the waves himself. Kolb pushed the man back towards the shore where he was able to keep his head above water. Kolb jumped back into action and rescued two other women, Tiffany Tran, 50, and Kaitlin Tran, 21. Kolb dragged the two women, who were hanging on as waves pulled them under the water, by dragging them back to the beach. Once back on land, Tiffany Tran was non-responsive and foaming at the mouth. A bystander performed CPR until emergency personnel could arrive.

At the same time, Toural and Marshall swam out to rescue two teenage boys who were unable to battle the violent waves and return to the shore. Marshall said he’d rescued Ryan Tran, 17, by instructing the teen to flip on his back and float while he pulled him to shore. While returning to the shore, Marshall became exhausted and another rescuer aided Tran using a paddle board. Once on land, Marshall was able to also be treated.

Toural was able to rescue a swimmer who has not yet been identified by instructing the panicked swimmer. He was able to help guide the swimmer back to the shore with the help of the same rescuer who aided Tran using a paddle board.

All of the rescued swimmers and the boys were observed by medical professionals.

When asked if they’d perform the daring rescue again, the graduates reportedly told those present that “they did not hesitate for a second to help and would do it again without hesitation.” Mrs. Sam Kolb, a chaperone and the mother of Blake Kolb, said that it was a little more than being at the right place at the right time. She says “There is a reason the kids left that tent on the beach, and that those boys went to get it at that exact time. God had a bigger plan that day.”

The three young men exchanged contact information with the Tran family so they could all keep in touch.

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