Hero Alabama Groom Strips Down to Save Drowning Teen During Wedding Photos
"Hero and hubby in the same day."
Zac and Cindy Edwards didn't expect an ordinary wedding—after all, they planned their fuss-free Orange Beach nuptials in less than a week! But Zac's extraordinary wedding day heroics are guaranteed to provide the Alabama couple with a lifetime of stories.
The incredible story began during their post-ceremony photos, when the wedding party got word that a boogie boarder was in distress in the water nearby.
"A lady had come up to us and said that guy is out there struggling. He can't get back, he's having a hard time," Cindy recalled to WALA.
Cindy told her brand-new husband, who happens to be a former lifeguard and a coast guardsman, that he had to go.
"She said don't worry about your pants, just go. See you've got to listen to your wife because otherwise, you're in trouble," Zac told the station.
WALA reports that a number of people disregarded the red flags that day, and that the other first responders on duty were busy saving someone else at the time.
"And he goes to start taking his shirt off and he went off to take off his bottoms and I was like 'you don't have time' the guy kept drifting further and further out and he was struggling," Cindy said.
For a moment, Zac and the young man, 18-year-old Jamel Robinson, were stuck fighting the angry waters of the gulf. The whole time, all Zac could think of was his wife standing in the surf in her wedding gown.
"It beat us up pretty hard getting in and we pulled up on the beach everybody grabs him," he told WALA. "I got up and she's running out in her wedding dress. I'm bleeding from the nose and trying to tell her get away because I know how important that dress was, and I didn't want to ruin that."
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Today, the newlyweds are thankful their paths lead then to the beach that day—for a number of reasons.
"It's a story to tell, I told her. The grandkids are going to have a story to tell," Zac noted. "It was a perfect day. Beautiful wedding.
"Hero and hubby in the same day," Cindy added.