Senior Airman Jacob Holle saving the world

| June 23, 2015

Jacob Holle

Rosie sends us a link to the story of Jacob Holle, an Air Force meteorologist who brought his mother from Texas to Florida for a relaxing Mothers’ Day weekend, instead she got to watch her son rescue a family from a treacherous rip tide;

The family had their beach chairs in hand when Jacob Holle heard someone shouting. At first, Holle thought the shouts were from children playing on the beach, but then a woman came running up to him screaming, “Save my husband!”

That was when Holle turned and looked toward the ocean. About 50 yards out beyond a sand bar, three people – a girl, a boy and their father – bobbed and struggled in the water. The three were caught in a rip current and were being swept further out into deeper waters, at risk of swiftly drowning.

On a less-crowded part of the beach where there were no lifeguards, Holle knew he needed to take action. So, in seconds, the U.S. Air Force meteorologist waved over to another, older man on the beach to help out, and they dove into the waves and swam toward the children.

High waves made the swim tough, Holle said, and he was glad his squadron’s regular morning physical training included ocean swims.

When he and the other man reached the boy and girl, it was clear they were struggling against a rip current.

“They were all fighting it and wearing themselves out,” he said.

You should click on the link to read the rest of the long, exciting story of Senior Airman Holle’s dramatic rescue.

Category: Air Force

Comments (16)

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  1. David says:

    GREAT job!

    When in Monterey they had unusually high surf, and an infantry guy from Ft. Ord wound up going out to try and rescue an older tourist who had been hit by a tall rogue wave and sucked out offshore. The teacher wound up dying of a heart attack within 50 yards of shore. I always though it sucked that apparently the kid who risked his life to try and save him was never given any recognition – in 20 foot surf he definitely risked his life. Glad this one turned out better!

  2. ChipNASA says:

    Ok, OK, I’m calling BULLSHIT ON THIS^^^^

    “he was glad his squadron’s regular morning physical training included ocean swims…..

    Oh and girle frozen cocktails at the Tiki Bar afterwards, complete with cucumber sandwiches and the fancy umbrellas.

    WTFF?? All I ever had to do with my PT in the
    AF was run my ass off on the flightline. Jebus.
    Kids these days.

    (Of course oblig sarc here)

    I’ll just leave this here.

    • Eden says:

      Hey, Chip, the Air Force is trying to be more military these days. ‘Course, their mandatory squadron PT isn’t counted in their duty day (nor is their mandatory volunteer time, nor their mandatory “wingman” briefings, nor their mandatory. . .). It’s a wonder they have any time left for family and sleep. Glad I’m out.

    • Jacob says:

      He’s at hurlburt field! Right on the ocean and it’s an AFSOC base.

  3. B Woodman says:

    “If I was in better shape,” he said, “I could have done more.”

    I think you’ve done enough, zoomie. Well done.

  4. Retired Master says:

    I want to know where he trained at for ocean swims. I didn’t think Lackland had ocean training.

    • 19D2OR4-Smitty says:

      Meteorology school as well as quite a few AF Meteorologists is at Keesler AFB in MS. Which is right on the gulf in Biloxi.

  5. Andy11M says:

    HEY MOM! WATCH THIS! I kid, good job Weatherman!

  6. Hondo says:

    Well done, SrA Holle. Damn well done.

    And you did one helluva job raising him, Ms. Duley – apparently by example.

    Well-deserved kudos to you both.

    (If you haven’t read the linked article, it’s worth the time. SrA Holle’s mom didn’t just observe the rescue from the shore. She was an in-water participant.)

  7. OC says:

    Damn, didn’t know Zoomies had it in ’em….
    Ducks for cover 😉

    BZ SrA Holle.

  8. AW1Ed says:

    I you find yourself in a rip tide, don’t panic and swim parallel to the shore. You’ll soon be out of it. Swimming against it is futile.

  9. Sparks says:

    Damned well done Senior Airman Holle! Bravo Zulu!

  10. Valkyrie says:

    All last week I couldn’t relax due to watching for this very thing at Panama beach. It was red flag days every day.
    The first year my Mom and I took all her grandkids there my nephew and a boy he’d befriended on the beach got caught in a bad riptide. No one else on the beach was paying attention so I had to throw (ok gently toss) my daughter I was breastfeeding to my Mom and swim out. Those boys were so happy to see me, though I’m not sure if it was due to me saving them or forgetting to rearrange things before jumping in. Pre-teens! Haha!

  11. CWORet says:

    Hey Moms, your son is BAMF!

    • Hondo says:

      Read the linked article if you haven’t CWORet. The lady’s pretty BA herself – she swam out and helped rescue the 3rd swimmer caught in the riptide.

      Looks like this is a case of the “apple didn’t fall far from the tree”.

  12. Thunderstixx says:

    A 12 year old girl died on Galveston Beach earlier this year.
    The family said they only turned their backs for a few seconds and when they turned back she was gone.
    We had some nasty rip tides after the big rains we had around Memorial Day.
    Good job sir.
    And you are right, swim across the rip tide. That is the only way. Same thing if you fall through the ice on a river, swim WITH the current.
    Speaking from experience here at about 12 years old. One of the first close calls I had.