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Campus Spotlight


Central Private Graduates Rescue Family From Drowning

June 22, 2019
By Amanda Moody
Three young men on their senior trip save four distressed swimmers that were swept away by a rip current.
Three members of the Tran Family, from Nashville, TN, and an unidentified male teenager were rescued from drowning last month by three of Central Private’s 2019 graduates while on their Senior Trip in Destin, FL. A mother, Tiffany Tran, 50, and her two children; Ryan Tran, 17, Kaitlin Tran, 21, and the unidentified teen, were swept out to sea by a rip current while swimming at Crystal Beach. 
For the Central Private School’s 2019 Graduates, Monday (May 27th) started out like most of the other days of their trip with the students enjoying a beautiful day at the beach. Although, they did notice the red flags that day, a warning to swimmers of a dangerous rip current. 
The group had brought a pop up tent for shade while on the beach.  As the day went on, the kids had trickled back to their rented beach house, leaving the tent out there with no one left to bring it back. One of the chaperones for the trip, Mrs. Sam Kolb, had been relaxing nearby on the beach and had stopped several students to remind them they were leaving the tent. “Don’t worry, we are going to come back later”, the kids responded. “We’ll pick it up then.” 
Later that afternoon around 4:00pm, the group decided they were going to go out for dinner instead of returning to the beach. While the rest of the group were getting showered and ready to go to dinner, three of the young men on the trip; Blake Kolb, Parker Toural, and Brant Marshall, headed back to the beach to retrieve the tent that had been left behind. As the eighteen-year old recent graduates were packing up the tent, they began to hear screams for help coming from the water. They turned to look but couldn’t see anybody that seemed to be in distress. Passing it off as people just playing around, they continued to get the tent packed up. However, the cries for help became louder and more frantic. The boys knew that someone was in trouble. They then saw several people in the water who were caught up in the rip current and struggling to swim. The boys immediately sprang into action and jumped into the water to help get the people back to shore.
Blake Kolb, 18, said he first came upon a gentleman who had attempted to help the distressed swimmers, but began to struggle himself once he got out into the rough waves. Kolb was able to push him closer to the shore, where the man could stand with his head above water. Kolb then grabbed Tiffany Tran, 50, and Kaitlin Tran, 21, who were hanging on to each other, while being pulled under the water by the waves and current. Although a struggle, Kolb was able to drag the two women to the beach. By the time they had reached the shore, Tiffany Tran was non-responsive and foaming at the mouth. A bystander that knew CPR began to perform chest compression and breathing techniques until emergency personnel could arrive. 
In the meantime, Parker Toural, 18, and Brant Marshall, 18, had swum even further out into the ocean to reach two teenage boys who had been swept further out and could not make it back to shore.  Marshall decided to swim out to Ryan Tran, 17, who had been swept the furthest out to sea. “He was about 200 yards out”, Marshall estimated. When Marshall first reached him, Tran jumped on top of Marshall’s shoulders, pushing him under the water. Marshall instructed Tran to flip on his back and float while Marshall pulled him to shore. About half-way back to shore, Marshall became exhausted and another gentleman on a paddle board came to help float Tran back to shore. Marshall was able to slowly make his way back to the land, where he began to cough up the seawater he had inhaled during the rescue. 
Parker Toural came upon a distressed swimmer who has been unable to be identified. Toural estimates he was around fifteen to sixteen years of age. As in the case with Marshall, when Toural made it close to the swimmer, he jumped on top of Toural thus pushing him deeper underwater. “We were past the second sandbar”, Toural recounted, “The water was about 25-30ft deep.” Toural said he had to back away from the swimmer a bit, so that the swimmer couldn’t drag him under as well.” Toural stayed close to the swimmer, helping him slowly get back to the shore until the same gentleman on the paddleboard who had helped to float Ryan Tran, came to help this unidentified swimmer as well. 
The rescued swimmers were transported to the local hospital as the Central Private Graduates hurried back to the house to inform the group of what had happened. Once back at the beach house, Parker Toural alerted the chaperones and told them that Brant Marshall was having difficulties breathing.  Marshall’s mother, Lisa, was called and she rushed over from Pensacola where she had been vacationing at the time. Lisa Marshall is an RN and had her stethoscope with her. When she arrived, she was able to thoroughly check out Brant and Blake Kolb to make sure they were okay. 
While waiting for Lisa Marshall to arrive, Jill Toural, a chaperone and mother of Parker Toural, was concerned that Parker may have inhaled water during the rescue as well. She immediately brought Parker to the hospital to be checked out. Jill called from the Emergency Room to tell the boys that the family they had rescued was at the same ER as Parker Toural.  Blake Kolb and Brant Marshall went to the hospital to visit with both Toural and the Tran Family. 
The Tran family is extremely grateful for the heroic actions of Kolb, Toural, and Marshall. Another son of Tiffany Tran, Jordan Tran, 20, had left the beach an hour or so earlier before the incident. Jordan Tran and Blake Kolb exchanged information at the hospital and continue to keep in touch. When asked if there was any hesitation to help the swimmers and if they thought they would do it again if the occasion arises, each of the brave Central Private Graduates emphatically stated they did not hesitate for a second to help and would do it again without hesitation.  Mrs. Sam Kolb, a chaperone and the mother of Blake Kolb, believes that it was a little more than being at the right place at the right time.  She stated, “There is a reason the kids left that tent on the beach, and that those boys went to get it at that exact time. God had a bigger plan that day.”