Many are calling 31-year-old Jeremy Crandall a hero--especially the man whose life he saved at Emerald Isle over the Memorial Day weekend.
Crandall was surfing when he noticed a father and son in trouble in the water and came to their rescue. Crandall lost his life saving the two.
The father from Virginia who was saved, who only wants us to use his first name, says, "He was an Angel, he was a hero. If not for him two people would've been gone."
Timmy says after he and his son we pulled to safety, he waited so he could thank Crandall. "That's all I was thinking about. I was going to thank him. I owe him my life. It hurts. It hurt when he didn't come in. I feel everything. I feel guilt. I feel responsible. I feel a lot of stuff. It's going to take a long time to get over this. But, I'll never forget him."
Crandall's mother, Linda Carpenter from Michigan, says her son was in a near fatal car accident just a year ago and said she believes it was her son's destiny to help save lives, just as his had been saved.
Carpenter says while she's not surprised Jeremy would put his life on the line to save others -- there was an event that took place the day Jermey died that gives her peace her son is at rest.
Carpenter says, "The odd thing about this whole thing is that morning we had gone out to the cemetery and put crosses on all of our family and for some reason we ended up with an extra cross and we didn't know what to do with it and my sister said, Well put it with mom's and she'll just have a visitor."
Carpenter says a group of firefighters plans to nominate her son for the Carnegie Lifesaving Award.
Crandall is survived by his fiance and daughters ages five and two.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend has turned deadly on the Crystal Coast.
A Hubert man died after witnesses said he gave his surf board to a father and son who were in distress. That surfer, who police now identify as 31-year-old Jeremy Crandall, was found about 20 minutes later when his body washed up on shore.
The drowning happened Sunday in front of the Holiday Travel Park in Emerald Isle.
Authorities say rip currents have been extremely rough the past several days.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.