Two Blountstown teens have been hailed as heroes after an act of bravery on the Chipola River.
Chesten Goodman and Brandon Purvis, both juniors at Blountstown High School, were recently boating along the river when a near-tragedy unfolded right before them.
“We had taken the boat from Lamb Eddy to Look ‘N Tremble, just fishing and riding around,” says Chesten, adding they stopped along the bank at Look ‘N Tremble to hang out awhile. “We were just jumping in swimming and some tubers were coming down. We got on the edge because it’s so low. We were just watching them.”
That’s when Chesten and Brandon noticed a small boy about two years of age tubing with his mother.
“As they came down the rapids, it just kind of flipped them,” says Brandon.
Chesten recalls, “They both got knocked off and the mom floated down further.”
As for the toddler, he was no longer with his mother. “The baby was caught in the rapids,” says Brandon. “He fell in and came up gasping, then went back under.”
Chesten heard his mother yelling, “He can’t swim!”
Immediately, the boys dove in the water. Chesten swam in front of where he had last seen the baby in case he came forward and Brandon went to the exact spot where the child went down.
“About five seconds later, I found him and grabbed him,” says Brandon. “He was breathing really fast.”
The toddler appeared scared and shocked at what had occurred and his grateful mother just kept thanking the boys repeatedly. They parted ways, never getting each other’s names.
Regardless of who the family was, the boys are confident they were at that exact spot for a reason that day.