3 KU students rescue boy from the water while on spring break in Florida

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy photo (WDAF) Courtesy photo (WDAF)
DESTIN, Fla. (KAKE) -

Three University of Kansas students are credited with saving a boy's life wile on spring break in Florida.

WDAF reports the Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers were on a beach in Destin when a mother ran up from the water, frantically yelling for a lifeguard or for help. 

Conor Churchill, Jared Cox and Cole Firmature saw no lifeguard around and sprang into action.

"I kind of started looking around, and by then I looked back and Jared and Cole were already taking off for the water," Churchill told the Kansas City Fox station. "So I was like, 'Shoot, I guess we're doing this,' and we just started swimming."

They said they couldn't see the Texas boy due to roaring waves and thick fog. But a boogie board led them to the boy who was holding on for dear life.

"He was just floating there, honestly," Firmature said.

"There was a rip current," Churchill said. "So what was happening was he just kept getting pushed further and further out."

They eventually reached the terrified little boy and began their journey back to shore.

"He had absolutely no idea how to swim, though," Cox said.

The KU students found themselves in over their heads with the strong rip current. They created a chain to get back to land where a sea of people and a thankful mother were clapping in awe.

"She grabbed him and was holding him, and you could see on her face tears and thankfulness," witness Kaci Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist wrote a post thanking the young men for their courageous effort.

"It was pretty cool for them being that young and just jumping in and doing what needed to be done," she said.

Gilchrist is a mother of three from Kansas. She and her family were vacationing in Destin when they saw the entire situation unfold.

"The whole day we were staying close to shore because all them, my kids, realized wow that, that could happen to me," Gilchrist said.

"We're just happy that everything worked out," the three KU juniors said in unison.

"They can still have their family vacation and not have anything else to worry about," Firmature said.

"Absolutely," Cox said.

More from WDAF

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE