BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - An 18-year-old Lake Worth teen is home from the hospital after he and his friend risked their lives to help pull two kids out of a rip current at the Boynton Beach Inlet on Friday.
TJ Preble and his friend, 18-year-old Collin Barch, found themselves fighting a rip current to get two young boys out of rough water north of the inlet.
"It's kind of crazy how fast something like that could happen," Preble said.
Preble and Barch say they had just arrived at the beach with some friends on Friday when a woman frantically ran to them, asking for help. She said that her son and another boy were struggling to stay above the water.
"I mean, a lot of people were just kind of not reacting," Preble said.
The teens ran to the end of the pier and jumped in the water to swim toward the boys.
Barch says he was able to get one of the boys on his back.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, it's pretty rough,'" said Barch.
They were both able to get out of the water.
Preble says he reached the other boy, but the rip current eventually pulled them away from each other.
"I tried to swim as hard as I could. There was nothing I could do," Preble said.
Preble says a boater was able to pull the other boy out of the water. He says a fisherman threw him a rope and pulled him up.
Preble was taken to the hospital. He says the salt water affected his kidneys and his heart rate.
"I was pretty scared for a little bit," Preble said.
Now that everyone is home and OK, the teens say they're glad they were able to take action quickly and buy the boys more time in the water.
"It's great that they're safe and that everyone's safe. I think that's awesome," Barch said. "I would do it again. I think Collin would do it again, too. I would want someone to do that for my little brother or sister."
The teens also say two of their other friends with them at the beach ran to get help from lifeguards after they jumped in the water.