Alyssa DeWitt thought she was having a normal day at the Lake Michigan beach, until she saw three little pairs of hands waving frantically from the water.
DeWitt, who is five months pregnant, leapt into action. She got her own children safely out of the water, then ran to the pier to call 911.
According to reporting by pro-life news outlet Live Action, “Two children had been swimming near the First Street Beach pier when the water began to overpower them, and when a third older child went out to help them, all three — who were under the age of 15 — were caught in a rip current and were being pulled further away from shore.”
The rip current was apparently so strong that the children were being slammed against the pier wall. DeWitt looked around and so no one else that could help.
“I don’t think that they could hear me. I couldn’t hear them,” DeWitt told UpNorthLive, speaking about her call to 911 for help. “The best I could do was scream into the phone we needed help — there were kids drowning.”
Realizing that it may be too late when police arrive, DeWitt knew she had to do something.
“I put my phone down with 911 on and laid down over the side of the pier and told them what to do, reach for my hand. Every time I would get them part way up a wave would smash them back down,” she said. “This part will stick with me forever. This girl looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to die.’ It makes me cry every time I think about it. I said ‘I promise you. I am not going to let you die out here. I will get you out of this water.’”
Not only did DeWitt save the little girl, she saved all three children. All three only had minor injuries. DeWitt is now being called a hero.
In a post on her Facebook page, DeWitt wrote that she initially did not want to go to the beach that day. “It was extremely windy earlier, I sat in the driveway for a good 5 minutes with all of us in the van contemplating just staying home,” she wrote. “But something told me to go, so we did. Today, I took the kids to the pier side of the beach. We NEVER go to this side. Ever. Today, I felt that this side was best, for whatever reason. You can’t tell me it was ‘luck’ I was there when I was. I was meant to be there.. and I’m so sooo thankful for it.”
“[T]he adrenaline kicked into high gear and somehow I did it,” she added. “I pulled them up the pier wall, with the waves slamming into me and throwing the kids all over the place, pulling with all my might on wet slippery hands, and almost going over the edge myself a few times. I kept my promise, I was going to do whatever I had to do.”
Soon after DeWitt got the children to safety, Manistee Police arrived. Manistee City Police Chief Josh Glass spoke out about her bravery.
“We all think we’ll do this, but it’s very difficult when you’re faced (with that) situation. By all accounts this person did not hesitate to put her safety aside and we are extremely thankful for that,” Glass said in an interview with the Manistee News Advocate. “She’s a hero.”
DeWitt went to the emergency room afterwards to ensure that her unborn child was okay.
“I’m beyond thankful I was where I was and that those kids get to live another day,” she wrote, adding: “I’m loving my babies a little harder tonight. I’m sure those parents are too. God is good.”