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Stow teen rescues woman, child from ocean during summer vacation in NC

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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STOW, Ohio (WOIO) - A teenager from Stow will have quite the summer vacation story to tell when he returns for his sophomore year at Hiram College this fall.

Travis Shrout, 18, rescued a woman and her son as they drifted about 50 yards into the Atlantic Ocean.

“It was such a crazy experience, my adrenaline was going so hard,” Shrout told 19 News.

Shrout was with his family in Topsail beach, NC, just before the Fourth of July when he noticed the two struggling in the water.

He yelled out to see if they needed help — they did.

“That’s when I first started going,” he recalled, swimming toward them with his bodyboard. “Her son started to drift away from her because she couldn’t hold him up anymore. So I took my strap off and handed her the board then swam as hard as I could to him.”

Now separated, the boy struggled on his own.

“He was bobbing up and down in the water. I got to him, then she got over to me with the board and we were able just kind of float in,” he said.

Coincidentally, a Shrout family friend was testing a feature on his drone, which captured the dramatic rescue on camera.

As the three closed in on the shore, others offered a helping hand.

“Thank you to the kid who helped me bring them in, Andrew Leonard, I don’t know if I would have gotten them in without his help,” he said.

Shrout, who has lifeguard training at YMCA, spoke humbly about the rescue.

“I don’t think I’m a hero. I think God put me in the right place at the right time and I think anyone else in that situation would have done the same thing,” he said.

Shrout had never met the woman and child prior to the incident, the two families have kept in touch.

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