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Roanoke County Honors Life Savers - abc27 WHTM

Roanoke County Honors Life Savers

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Roanoke Co., VA - Two Roanoke County first responders were honored Monday night by the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors for being heroes.

Officer Eric Austin and Firefighter and EMT Barry Brown were vacationing in Holden Beach, North Carolina when they noticed a woman and a young boy struggling in the water.

It's a natural reaction for men who are trained to save lives to run toward danger versus away from it, which is exactly what these two men did.

Austin was the first to notice something wrong when a woman began swimming toward the young boy bobbing in the surf about 200 yards off the coast.

Brown, a decathlon athlete, made it to them first and pulled the child from the mother just as the woman began to panic.

"We were afraid she was going to start using the child to stay afloat because when I tried grabbing her, she kept trying to climb on my back and things like that - pushing me under trying to stay afloat. I said, 'Just calm down. Just calm down. Let me get you in a better position," said Austin.

Both men told me they were afraid they were in mortal danger as well once they got out there.

"They weren't trying to come in. She had just made it out to him and she was just panicking in that strong rip current being pulled out. I'm not sure she knew what to do. I'm not sure they would have made it in by themselves," added Brown.

Remarkably they never found out who these people were... just that they were from Northern Virginia.

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