Heroes You Should Know: Brave Texas Teens Save Over 50 People In Small Fishing Boat
In their neighbors’ time of need, these teens stepped up.
ByAMANDA PRESTIGIACOMO August 29, 2017
Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on Saturday, taking lives and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Once the storm downgraded to Tropical Storm Harvey, even more damage was done, bringing in unprecedented flooding and raising the death toll to eight, a number expected to rise. In Houston alone, an estimated 30,000 will be forced to flee their homes and seek shelter; 450,000 others will require some sort of disaster assistance.
But, in response, the resilient and courageous people of Texas have sprung into action. The state has witnessed inspiring examples of heroism and unity from its citizenry — including teenage boys with nothing more than a small fishing boat and a paddle board.
Seventeen-year-old Thomas Edwards and his three friends, Richard Dickason, 17, Liam Connor, 17, and his brother Declan Connor, 15, were some of those heroes. The boys, all high school students at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, spent hours rescuing stranded Texans in a small fishing boat. Edwards estimates the crew saved over 50 people, not to mention numerous pets.
Edwards told The Daily Wire that he woke up to find the massive flooding; his truck was nearly completely submerged and one-story houses all around him had water all the way up to their doors. Instead of feeling fear or sorry for himself (as any typical 17-year-old might feel after they see their truck under water), Edwards and his pals took this hardship as a cue to help others.
The day before the storm, the boys picked up Declan’s fishing boat from Galveston, Texas. This was the perfect vehicle to save some folks.
“Once the boat began to float on the trailer we decided to venture out,” Edwards told The Daily Wire. “We could hear people screaming for help and we towed a paddle board behind us so we could fit more people on the boat. We began to pick people up and take them to a local Krogers, where other evacuees sought refuge. We were the only boat in the neighborhood until 2 o’clock, and we motored back and forth making trips to rescue as many people as we could.”
The boys began working in collaboration with local firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers, saving at least 50 people, said Edwards. “Neighbors would tell us addresses or point in directions to where they heard people yelling from,” he recalled.
“We rescued families, babies, dogs, rabbits, you name it,” explained the 17-year-old. “My friend Liam and I would stay on the paddle board and pull the boat across the intersection in order to unload people closer to the Kroger parking lot. It was an incredibly surreal experience to take a boat down streets while trying to dodge sunken cars and overhanging tree limbs.”
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