Your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life, and of course, you’d want to document it through pictures so you can look back on them years later and remember the happy day.
But what if those pictures ended up documenting not only your wedding but also a moment which might very easily have ended in tragedy?
This is what happened to one couple, Zac Edwards, 37 and Cindy Edwards, 32. They were posing on a beach for their wedding pictures when a woman cried out because she had seen a teenager struggling in the water. So Zac, who’s a marine science technician, didn’t hesitate before jumping in to go to the boy’s aid, swimming 150 feet.
The teenager had been in a boogie board before he was pulled by the current.
“Cindy and I were taking our photos together by the water and we were just wrapping them up when a woman told us there was a teenager in the water struggling,” said Zac. “You could just tell by the look on his face he was in difficulty. When we first saw him he was about 50 yards out. I took off my shirt, but my wife said I didn’t have time to take off my pants.”
After helping the boy by propping on a boogie board, Zac was then joined by the Orange Beach Fire Department and Orange Beach Surf Rescue, who had been dealing with another emergency. He helped the responders get the teenager into a jetski before he hopped on himself and returned to the shore.
“The current was really strong and it was stopping us coming in any further. I was starting to panic slightly. The pants were making it hard to kick too,” Zac added. “But when I saw the first responders I knew it was going to be okay. A jet ski came out to us and I managed to wedge him up onto it. I didn’t really take in the gravity of the situation until I laid down that night. Afterwards, my hands were shaking but the adrenaline was just pumping.”
Cindy said that she started panicking when she noticed Zac had gotten tired, but thankfully the first responders were quick to arrive.
“The lifeguards dived into the water and there were helicopters patrolling the waters,” she said. “Our emergency services in Orange Beach can’t be commended enough.”
The teenager recovered, thankfully, but the couple, who have three children said people should pay more attention to red flag days on the beaches.
“I think people underestimate the ocean. It wasn’t his fault at all but it was a red flag day,” Zac said. “People don’t read the signs and swimmers need to be very cautious. Even experienced swimmers can get into difficulty. I wouldn’t let my kids go more than knee deep on a red flag day.”
As to their reception, well, they ended up going completely wet and covered in sand, much to the shock of their guests.
The pastor who married them praised the groom, saying: “It was incredible. The fact that this man took time out of his special day to save someone else was really special.”