Man drowned helping woman caught in rip current

Anthony Jervis remembered for being selfless


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Friends remembered a 23-year-old man who drowned Sunday while helping a woman caught in a rip current on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

"We are talking about someone -- at any moment, even his worst enemy -- he would help them out," Timothy Cornelius said of Anthony Jervis.

Heidi Barrels was with Jervis, Cornelius, and other friends when she and another friend got caught in a rip current.

"All of the sudden I heard, 'Help!' I swam after her and she jumped on me," she said.

Jervis jumped in to save them both.

"You see him going up and down, over and under the water," said Cornelius. "Once a wave comes, he would just recover from that wave, another wave is coming, but you are out too deep."

Jervis pushed through the rough waters and reached the struggling girls. Barrels said he pushed them toward the shore.

"I just remember him saying, 'Just go. I will meet you up there,'" said Barrels. I will never, never, never forget that."

An off-duty Broward Sheriff's Office firefighter rescued Jervis from the rough water.

"We pumped so much saltwater out of him," said Cornelius. "Just the look that he gave -- that was a look I have never seen before."

Jervis was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"For somebody to always help somebody out and then at one point need help and not get it," said Cornelius. "If it happened tomorrow, he would do the same thing. The same thing."