16-Year-Old Praised as ‘Hero’ After Dying While Trying to Save Children From Florida Rip Currents

A GoFundMe has since been launched for the family of the young hero, with the current amount raised at the time of this writing having topped $80,000.

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A 16-year-old is being praised as a “hero” after dying while trying to rescue children he didn’t know who were fighting for their lives in rip currents.

Per a report from WSB-TV, the incident occurred earlier this month off the coast of Pensacola.  Bryce Brooks, 16, had entered the turbulent water alongside family friend Chuck Johnson to help save a group of children who were in distress. According to Bryce’s parents, he initially jumped into the water to save the children, followed by Johnson, who had jumped in an effort to help save Brooks.

“Bryce is a hero,” Shivy Brooks, Bryce’s father, said of their son. “He literally saved the lives of four kids at the expense of his own.”

Per a separate report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brooks was on vacation in the region at the time of the tragic incident. A GoFundMe has since been set up in support of the Brooks family. At the time of this writing, it had raised more than $80,000.

“Bryce was victim to a strong ocean current in Florida after his heroic action of jumping into the ocean to save a group of younger children out of the current,” the organizer of the fundraiser said when first launching the effort. “Bryce’s actions helped to save several lives. We can not even begin to understand the unimaginable impact this has had on their family, friends, and loved ones but know the power of this community.”

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Per the GoFundMe’s description, all money raised will go “directly to” the family.

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