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Family of missing teen reconnects with good Samaritan who tried to save him from rip current

1 month 1 week 11 hours ago Monday, May 23 2022 May 23, 2022 May 23, 2022 9:30 PM May 23, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

ORANGE BEACH - Hours after their son went missing, a couple from Baton Rouge reunited with the good Samaritan who tried to save the boy when he was swept out to sea by a rip current.

Monday night, Tyreke Walker's parents met the man who risked his own life trying to save their 14-year-old son.

“We were coming down the beach, and all I could hear was people screaming for help. And without thinking, I just dove in when I saw him. I just dove in, so I could get him, and the water was just way too rough. I mean it was doing everything it could. It was taking me to the bottom too,” Cody Russell said. “I'm six foot four, almost 300 pounds and the water was taking me down. I mean it wasn't playing. It was serious."

Russell and his wife were at the same hotel as Tyreke's family, who are overwhelmed by not having Tyreke with them.

“I wish I had more time to watch him do more. I wish all the games I had to miss because of work, I wish I could take all that back,” Tyreke’s father, Clint Walker, said. 

At one point, Tyreke's dad had a grip on his son, but lost it. 

“I'm just sorry that I couldn't help out enough when he needed me, and I want him to know that I love him,” his dad said between tears. 

Rescue crews responded immediately and are still looking for the 14-year-old. 

“In a matter of minutes, we had boats, lifeguards. It was people everywhere searching,” Russell recalled. 

Russell didn't know Tyreke or his family, but that didn't matter when he realized someone needed help. 

“All I saw was help [people] pointed at the water, and that was it. I didn't need any more information,” Russell said. 

The whole thing happened just shortly after flags at the beach were changed to reflect the dangerous conditions.

People have been paying for the family's hotel stay, so they can remain in Orange Beach while they look for their son. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up on behalf of the Walker-Nguyen family.

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