Heroic Teen Rescues Three Girls and an Officer After Vehicle Sinks in River

Heroic Teen Rescues Three Girls and an Officer After Vehicle Sinks in River

September 6, 2022 by By Cathy Stack

MOSS POINT, Mississippi—A car’s GPS system directed a group of teenage girls off the I-10 boat launch into the Pascagoula River. The car floated 25 yards into the river and then began to sink. The girls escaped to the vehicle’s rooftop where they frantically yelled for help. Corion Evans, 16, heard their calls from nearby. He immediately threw down his phone, removed his shirt and shoes, jumped into the river and swam out to them. Corion rescued all three girls as well as a police officer who had also attempted to help the teens when the water overtook him.

“I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die,’” Corion recalled.

A strong and confident swimmer since childhood, Corion’s instincts kicked in when he heard the girls’ pleas for help. With the vehicle nearly out of sight and completely submerged, he knew the situation called for quick action. He focused on the task of pulling the victims to safety as quickly as possible. Corion helped calm the panicked girls when he reached the vehicle. He swam and guided the first two girls safely back to shore.

The third girl did not know how to swim and had remained on the car roof. When Corion turned back to help her, an officer had already arrived on scene to assist. However, Officer Gary Mercer began struggling to stay afloat due to the heavy weight of his gear. As he disappeared underwater, Corion swam out again to help both the remaining girl and the officer. He swam behind them, supporting their body weight until they all made it back to shore.

“I turned around. I see the police officer,” Corion recalled. “He’s drowning. He’s going underwater, drowning, saying, ‘Help!”

I went and I grabbed the police officer and I’m like swimming him back until I feel I can walk.”

One of the grateful survivors became emotional as she reflected on the terrifying experience.  She thought these might be her last gasps of breath as she desperately tried to stay afloat. At that moment, she suddenly felt a tug as Corion pulled her up and bagan swimming with her.

The exhausted group were all treated at a nearby hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.

Corion and Officer Mercer were awarded certificates of commendation from the City of Moss Point.

“The police department and I commend Mr. Evans’ bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger,” Moss Point Chief Brandon Ashley said in a statement. “If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely.”

The police department noted that the incident highlights many lessons. They advised drivers to not trust their vehicles’ GPS around poorly marked waterways. In this case, the GPS misidentified the vehicle as positioned on a raised highway, but the girls had started their route in a parking lot underneath the highway.

Police also advise potential drowning victim rescuers to stay a safe distance away from the drowning victim and to attempt a rescue from shore, a boat or using a personal flotation device when possible. Approaching too closely to someone drowning can impact the rescuer’s ability to stay afloat as well, as was the case with the officer.

The Foundation For A Better Life and PassItOn believe that Corion Evans is a true hero. He didn’t hesitate and he risked his own life to help save all four people from drowning. He cared enough to help avert a tragedy. His action is a great example of Bravery. Please helps us honor Corion by sharing his incredible story.

Watch video here: https://youtu.be/ymLY_kgf75o

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