Off-duty St. Helena Island firefighter saves man's life - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Off-duty firefighter saves man's life

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Scott Harris Scott Harris
Stephanie Harris Stephanie Harris
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

As a firefighter, it's Scott Harris' job to save lives, but it's more than a job for him. It's his calling. And his mind and body are always ready to answer that calling, even when he's not on duty.

That's what happened Sunday afternoon, when he jumped into the Beaufort River to save a man from drowning.

"We were at the right spot at the right time, and we were able to help," he said.

Scott was on his boat with his wife and daughters when his wife, Stephanie Harris, noticed a man fall from the Woods Memorial Bridge.

"We were getting close to the bridge, and we were just getting ready to go underneath it when I noticed a man about half way in the air falling off the bridge," said Stephanie Harris. "We saw him hit the water and I told my husband."

And it was in that moment that Scott Harris jumped in the water without even thinking about it.

"It was luck," said Scott Harris. "I was able to grab him."

Scott Harris says the man seemed grateful when he pulled him out of the water, however, according to police, the man was trying to commit suicide as an attempt to get out of the outstanding warrants that are against him. Beaufort Police did arrest the man.

The man that Scott Harris saved was just one of three people who nearly drowned this past weekend in Beaufort County.

According to officials, two people were pulled out to sea by riptides at Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island.

Fortunately, no one died, but officials say folks need to be more careful in the water.

"The worst thing a person could do is panic if they're caught in a riptide," said Adam Henderson, and officer for South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources. "Folks should stay calm, and swim to the side of the current, instead of against it." 

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