VA. firefighter, cop honored for rescuing mother, son during Holden Beach vacation


ROANOKE, VA (WWAY) — A firefighter and police officer who rescued a mother and son from the ocean near Holden Beach, got recognition in their home down of Roanoke, Virginia.

Roanoke County police officer Eric Austin and firefighter Barry Brown were vacationing in the Cape Fear this summer when they saw a woman swimming toward a young boy bobbing in the surf. They knew the pair was in trouble and jumped in to save them.

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“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 Eric Austin.

Barry Brown added, “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.”

Both men admitted they feared for their own lives in the rough water.