Junior Charles Belcher saves two lives at Mustang Island


Photo By: Claudia Quiroz

It was a windy Sunday at Mustang Island.

Junior Charles Belcher was so thrilled to swim in the ocean. He thought, “finally, my first taste of water for the summer.” As his family was hanging out in the shallow water, he noticed a few people at a distance, farther than they should be. He knew something was up.

“I had an instinct telling me something was wrong,” Belcher said.

He noticed that the deeper he went into the water, the more the current would pull people away from the beach.

“I began swimming in that direction to investigate,” Belcher said. “After finally reaching them, I immediately realized that they were children. Both the children were getting slammed and drifting along farther with each wave.”

Out of pure instinct, Belcher went for the boy who seemed to be about 7 to 8 years old.

“He was crying but I could tell that he understood [that I was there to save him],” Belcher said. “As soon as he got on my back, he screamed, ‘What about my sister?’ And as calmly as I could I told him that I’d get her too.”

However, with one kid on his back, a howling ocean and very strong wind, Belcher knew that he had to save the little girl, who looked to be about 10-12 years old.

“I was able to reach out my hand to grab the little girl,” Belcher said.

Now with the boy on his bare back and the girl in his hand, Belcher fought the waves and the current to get not only himself but the children back to the shore safely.

“I had to fight the current and the waves with an additional 160 pounds on me. At this point, I could see my family staring in awe at me. I knew screaming [for help] wouldn’t do anything but tire me,” Belcher said.

“I managed to get both the kids to shallow water. They were crying and thanking me. My adrenaline was pumping and I was tired out. I collapsed and never got the chance to meet their parents. My sister’s boyfriend Jacob and my father carried the kids back to the beach,” Belcher said.

What seemed to besuch a normal day for the Belcher family turned out to be a day to remember.

“I was more shocked at myself, more than anybody else. I didn’t even get the chance to catch their names, but I’m sure they’ll always remember me.”

Although there were no authorities at the time to identify the children and contact their parents, the incident will surely live in the hearts of both the children and the Belcher Family for years to come.