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St. Lucie County man dies saving children from strong current, says family

Body found off North Hutchinson Island
Posted at 7:53 AM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 07:57:43-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Two days after he first went missing, the body of a St. Lucie County man has been recovered in the water off North Hutchinson Island.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office aided the Coast Guard, FWC, Fort Pierce Police and Port St. Lucie Police in finding the body of 27 year-old Anthony Graham off Pepper Park around 8 a.m. Monday.

Christopher Wilson says he hasn't slept for two days. He raised Anthony Graham from when he was an infant, until age 12, but still calls him his oldest son.

“Kind to everybody. Kind and respectful young man," Wilson said Monday outside his Fort Pierce home.

Wilson says Graham stopped by his home Saturday before heading to Fort Pierce Inlet State Park.

“I’m going to go out … but I’ll be back later. I said ‘Yes Sir.' Then I got the phone call that my son had drowned," said Wilson, choking back tears.

Wilson says Graham was at the inlet fishing late Saturday afternoon, when his step children ran into trouble. Wilson's family says the boys kept trying to come back in, but the current kept pulling them out. Graham jumped in, even though his mother, Andrea Moss, said he wasn’t the best swimmer.

“Even if it wasn’t those kids and he saw somebody drowning, he still would have went in that water to rescue them," said Moss.

Graham’s family says he loved the water. Beyond fishing, he had recently started a job with a local boat building company.

Andrea Moss says she had some friction with her son, but he was a hero, and her advice for others in the wake of this tragedy is make peace with your loved ones.

“Don’t be stubborn. Listen. If they’re trying to make peace with you, make that peace because when that person is gone, you’re going to be sorry you didn’t make the peace.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

A GoFundMe account has been set up here.