Florida teen uses social media to find hero after encounter with dangerous rip current

Author: CBS Miami Staff
Published: Updated:
18-year-old Amari Holcey. Credit: CBS Miami

A Florida teen used social media to track down the surfer who she says saved her life from a dangerous rip current off Ferdinanda Beach.

Eighteen-year-old Amari Holcey went to the beach around 7 p.m. with her friends when she got caught in a rip current.

“I love to get in the water, but after going through what I went through, I don’t want to get back in,” said Holcey.

Holcey recalled that the water was kind of rough that day, but it didn’t stop her and her friends from getting in.

“Once I realized I couldn’t touch the ground and I was not moving back towards the shore, I panicked. I started yelling for help,” said Holcey.

It was the teen’s first time experiencing a rip current, and she didn’t know what to do.

This is when a man on a surfboard came to her rescue.

“The surfboard was so vibrant. It was all I could see. And when he got to me, he told me everything was going to be okay and to get on his surfboard, and it was a strong fight. He actually saved my life,” Holcey added.

After the man took her back to the shore, first responders arrived, and she was taken to the hospital.

Holcey explained that because things happened so fast, she wasn’t able to thank the man who saved her in person.

The teen reported that after she nearly drowned at this beach, she went online and made a Facebook post, asking the internet to help her find the man who saved her life.

The post garnered hundreds of comments and multiple shares, and luckily she ended up finding the man – whose name is Forest.

Holcey said they connected over Facebook, and she sent him this message:

“Hello, I just want to thank you so much for the bravery you showed Wednesday evening. I was very scared and had no idea what to do. I just wanted the chance to give thanks for saving my life. God bless you.”

Holcey’s family is also grateful for Forest and his yellow surfboard.

“Thank you. Thank you so much; you’re an angel. It would’ve been such a horrific thing for my niece not to be here. I’m so very thankful for you,” said Holcey’s Aunt, Willalee Smith.

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