When a former marine and his 16-year-old daughter got caught in a riptide in Nantucket on Tuesday, a “selfie stick” came to the rescue and saved the family from a potentially tragic outcome.
Derrick Johns, a former Marine from Austin, Texas, was swimming with his daughter Erynn and trying to film the Nobadeer Beach waves with a GoPro camera attached to a selfie stick.
However, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they had gotten caught in a riptide and were unable to swim to shore.
The father and daughter fought the crashing ocean, screaming “I can’t!” and “Come on!”
Jennifer Johns, Derrick’s wife, ran into the water upon seeing her family struggling to fight the tide, only to get caught in it herself.
“They got pummeled in the tide for some time,” Derrick Johns said in a phone interview with The Boston Globe. “All I saw was my wife and daughter not coming up.”
Johns, although semiconscious and losing strength, managed to use the selfie stick to pull his daughter closer to shore where a stranger in an orange swimsuit retrieved her.
WATCH THEIR SCARY VIDEO HERE:
The stranger in orange has since been identified as 55-year-old Tommy Vach, who told The Boston Globe that risking his life to help save the Johns family was “a no-brainer.”
While lifeguards ran out to rescue Jennifer, Vachs went back into the tide to try to grab Derrick.
“I was a Marine, and I’ve been in some pretty harrowing situations,” Derrick Johns said. “That one was the scariest, because it wasn’t just me, it was my wife and daughter.”
Now that the entire Johns family is safe, they are try to enjoy the remainder of their summer vacation.