‘I wish I had lasted longer,’ says father of teen missing in Orange Beach waters
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – The unimaginable happened to a Louisiana family vacationing in Orange Beach. On Saturday, their 14-year-old son was swept away in rough waters and has yet to be found.
It was their first time in Orange Beach, and they had only planned to stay a day to celebrate their son Tyreke Walker’s 14th birthday, which was only three days prior.
“I just wish he would come back,” said his mother, Canhtam Nguyen.
Dangerous choppy waters roped him in on Saturday night, just after beach flags turned from red to double red, according to Orange Beach Fire Rescue.
His father, Clint was almost taken with him. He was later rushed to the emergency room due to excessive water inhalation.
He told FOX 10 about his final moments with his son.
“He’s like ‘I’m sorry, I can’t come back,'” Clint Walker, Sr. said. “I grabbed it and got it, but the water was pulling and pulling us. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get there. I lost his grip. I kept getting thrown to the bottom, and somehow I made it to shore, and he didn’t. I just wish I had lasted longer.
Orange Beach Fire Rescue took the search from sea to shore, combing the beaches for any sign of Tyreke.
“Right now our efforts are aimed at bringing the family as close together as possible, but it’s really a waiting game at this stage to try to get the child back,” said Battalion Commander Bruce Nelson.
The family also pleaded to be on the lookout.
“If there is any sign,” Nguyen said. “I know there’s a chance he’s not even in Orange Beach anymore, please.” I just want to see it. I just want him home with the family. I don’t want this to be the last time I saw him.
While looking for their son, they were also looking for a Good Samaritan.
“I don’t know the guy’s name, but in the heat of the moment when it was all happening there was another guy who came out to go save him,” Walker said. “I just want to personally say thank you to him for trying to help save my son.”
As the search for Tyreke continues, they expressed their heartfelt thanks to Orange Beach Fire Rescue, police, rescuers and everyone who helped find their son.
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