Alyssa DeWitt said she laid down on the pier and pulled each of the children to safety

By Rachel DeSantis
May 28, 2021 11:50 AM
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Manistee Light and Catwalk Lake Michigan
Manistee, Lake Michigan
| Credit: Getty

A pregnant mom enjoying a day at the beach with her kids became a hero after she jumped into action to rescue three children drowning in Lake Michigan.

Alyssa DeWitt, who is five months pregnant, was at the First Street Beach Pier on Tuesday when she first noticed a pair of arms waving out from the rough waters, she told NBC affiliate WPBN.

DeWitt wrote on Facebook that she soon saw a group of three kids being pulled out and repeatedly slammed against the wall of the pier.

"They were literally drowning in front of my eyes and there was not one person on that side of the beach I could scream to for help. It was empty," she wrote.

Though she called 911, it was difficult for them to hear her, so she took matters into her own hands, quickly lying down over the side of the pier and reaching out her hands to try to pull the kids to safety.

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"Every time I would get them part way up, a wave would smash them back down. This part will stick with me forever. This girl looked at me and said, 'I'm going to die.' It makes me cry every time I think about it," DeWitt told WPBN. "I said, 'I promise you. I am not going to let you die out here. I will get you out of this water.'"

Eventually, with her adrenaline "kicked into high gear," DeWitt managed to pull each of the three kids over the pier wall, despite nearly falling over the edge herself a few times, she wrote on Facebook.

"I don't know how, but I did," she told WPBN of the heroic rescue. "A lot of tears and hugs were shared yesterday. I know they were thankful."

DeWitt, too, was thankful for being in the right place at the right time, as she wrote on Facebook that she hadn't even planned to take her own kids to the beach that day due to the weather, but eventually did after "something" told her to go. She also noted that she took them to a different side than she usually does.

"Today, I felt that this side was best, for whatever reason. You can't tell me it was 'luck' I was there when I was. I was meant to be there.. and I'm sooo thankful for it," she wrote.

The Manistee News Advocate reported that the incident occurred around 5:41 p.m. on Tuesday, and that by the time police officers arrived on the scene, everyone was safe and out of the water.

Police reportedly said that two of the three children were swimming in the lake when they began to struggle, and the third child — who was older but part of the same group — entered the water to try to help them.

"Without the actions of this heroic young lady, [this] could have easily turned out differently," Manistee City Police Chief Josh Glass told WPBN.

DeWitt reportedly stopped by the emergency room afterwards to make sure she and her unborn child were okay.