Pregnant mother pulled three drowning girls to safety in Lake Michigan

One of the girls told Alyssa she thought she was going to die (Picture: Alyssa DeWitt/Fox 5)

A mother who is five months pregnant has been hailed a hero for saving three girls from downing when they got into difficulty while swimming in a lake.

Mother-of-three, Alyssa DeWitt, has been praised for saving the lives of the group of drowning girls, who started struggling in the water off a beach in Manistee, on the banks of Lake Michigan.

She said she sprung into action when she saw the girls waving their arms in the air on May 25, and, after noticing they were in trouble, managed to pull all three of them out of the water by laying on her stomach at the end of the pier.

Speaking to Fox 5, DeWitt said one of the girls even told her ‘I’m going to die’ as she battled to rescue them all on her own.

She said it was very windy at the beach and there were big waves in the lake when the girls got into trouble and signaled for help.

DeWitt said she was relaxing on the beach with her children, aged six, three and two, when ‘the next thing I knew the arms were waving in the water, so I kind of knew immediately that they were in trouble’.

She said she quickly jumped into action, pulling her own children out of the water and telling them to stay on the sand. Meanwhile DeWitt ran to the edge of the pier near where the girls were struggling and called 911, she said.

But due to the high winds it was difficult to hear what the call handler was saying, DeWitt added.

‘When I got to the edge where they were, they could barely keep their heads above the water at that point.

‘So I knew right away if I don’t do something these kids are going to drown.’

With 911 still on the line, DeWitt recalled how she put her phone down and laid on her stomach along the edge of the pier to try and pull the three girls up to safety. 

She explained: ‘There were a couple of times where I had gotten them partway up, and the waves would come and they would smash into us and pull them back down and we’d have to start all over.’

DeWitt said she could see the fear in the eyes of the unidentified girls.

‘I just kicked it right into mama bear mode’, she added.

Alyssa DeWitt

Alyssa DeWitt, a mother-of-three, has been hailed a hero for her actions (Picture: Alyssa DeWitt)

Alyssa DeWitt

First Street Beach in Manistee, Michigan, where the girls got into trouble in the water (Picture: Alyssa DeWitt)

‘I looked at her and said, “I’m not going to let you die. I’m going to get you out of this water, I promise”.’

Eventually DeWitt said her ‘super strength’ kicked in and she was able to pull all three of the girls over the pier wall. A fourth girl, who was also seen struggling, was able to make her own way to the beach.

Emergency crews arrived soon after and medics treated the girls for minor injuries, mainly scrapes and bruises. DeWitt said she and her unborn baby were also checked over as a precaution. 

DeWitt said: ‘At the end of the pier watching, my two-year-old was pretty freaked out and he kept trying to run out onto the pier to me.

‘My six-year-old would just pick him up and take him back to the sand for me. She stayed really calm. I was super proud of her.’

Hours after the rescue, DeWitt shared an emotional post on Facebook recounting the experience. The post has been shared hundreds of times and received many supportive comments from people praising her actions.

DeWitt has also encouraged all parents to teach their children about water safety.

In a post on Facebook, she said: ‘I know those big waves are fun.. and you never expect to find yourself in that situation.. but it can happen so fast.

‘It’s not worth the risk, it’s just not.’

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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