It was an exceptionally windy day when Alyssa Dewitt decided to take her kids for a quick walk at First Street Beach, located on Lake Michigan in Manistee, Michigan.
While her family was on a remote part of the beach, Dewitt quickly noticed that something was wrong. She saw three little girls struggling to keep their heads above water and kept getting pulled further from shore.
“We had probably been there 20-30 minutes before the girls started struggling in the water and I noticed the arms waving towards me,” Dewitt told Tank’s Good News.
Frantically, she tried to call 911, but between the wind and the waves, she could barely hear the first responder. She figured that the best she could do was scream her location and say that kids were drowning.
Dewitt, who is five months pregnant, then plunged into the cold lake to save them.
“Every time I would get them partway up, a wave would smash them back down. This part will stick with me forever. This girl looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to die.’ It makes me cry every time I think about it,” DeWitt told WPBN. “I said, ‘I promise you. I am not going to let you die out here. I will get you out of this water.'”
The mom managed to pull each kid out of the water and back onto the pier to safety, while her eldest child, 6, looked after her siblings and kept them safe.
“Whenever it’s brought up I always tell her that I’m really proud of her for keeping her brother safe and off the pier while I was helping the kids,” said Dewitt. “She did such a good job that day.”
Everyone involved knows that that afternoon could have gone in a more tragic direction, and Dewitt feels that she was meant to be on the beach that day to save those children’s lives.
“I knew if I didn’t do something, those girls weren’t going to make it,” she said. “Fight or flight is so different for everyone, but I’d hope if anyone found themselves in such a situation as mine where no help was around and access to 911 was limited, they’d fight with all they had!”
Dewitt and her unborn baby were later checked out at a local hospital, and mom and baby are doing just fine.
The heroic young woman wants to stress the importance of water safety.
“I also hope with how much this story is being talked about… that parents are taking the time to tell their children what happened and briefing them on water safety,” added Dewitt. “I don’t think kids realize how quickly the lake can suck you in. Before you know it, it’s too late.”