‘It’s an incredible feeling’: First responders reunite with Sun City man they rescued

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 1:55 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - A Sun City man saved from death by first responders, got a chance to reunite with them Friday.

Moments after Wayne Teague Jr.’s dog got lost, he did too. Officers from multiple agencies made sure he lived to tell the tale.

As first responders met a man whose life they saved, emotions were flying.

“So... I’m glad to be here of course,” Teague said.

He was searching for his dog Beaux in the woods back on June 18, when he fell into a ditch and got stuck. After pulling himself and Beaux out, he was exhausted.

“At that point, no more steps in me, I just laid down there,” he said.

A missing person call made it up to the sky, and soon a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office chopper was circling overhead.

“Even when I saw the helicopter, all I could do was waive once or twice,” Teague said.

The sheriff’s office says the aviation program proved its worth that day.

“We’ve caught bad guys, we’ve recovered stolen vehicles, but Mr. Teague is the first life we have saved,” BCSO pilot Col. Neil Baxley said.

The chopper couldn’t land though, so the next step in the rescue came on foot with off-duty Bluffton PD officer, Sgt. Criag Karafa.

“I saw the helicopter hovering. I had hopped a six foot fence with barbed wire and made it back to him another 100 yards,” Sgt. Karafa said.

The emotions up above at that moment as they knew they had saved a life.

“It’s an incredible feeling. Jeremy and I were high-fiving up in the helicopter.”

As they all met him Friday, healthy, those feelings came back.

“Just to see him emotional and be happy to be here today, and just to see the emotion from him, it really hits home.”

For Teague, the gratitude is unspeakable as he poses with the people who allow him to walk, hand-in-hand with not just his wife, but his life, too.

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