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Princess Anne High School student Miles Williams will receive an award this week for saving two lives this summer.
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms will give Williams the Virginia Beach Lifesaver Award Thursday at Princess Anne High School, 4400 Virginia Beach Blvd., at 7 p.m. The ceremony will precede the kickoff of Princess Anne’s football home opener against Landstown High School.
Williams was on a skimboard on the Chesapeake Bay in late July when he heard two people yelling for help, about 50 yards offshore. The swimmers had been caught in a rip current. Williams, an athlete with Virginia Beach-based Tide Swimming, which offers year-round instruction and competition, dove into the water and swam out to rescue them. He made two trips and dropped each stranded swimmer safely on shore, a release said.
“There was no one else on the beach,” Williams said in a phone interview. “They were obviously struggling really badly.”
Williams will start his sophomore year at Princess Anne next week. His mother, Jennifer Williams, said when she heard about the incident, her immediate thought was one of a worried mother: what if something had gone wrong during the rescue?
“When I heard about it, I started crying because I thought, ‘what if that had swept him under?’,” she said. “He didn’t even think about himself in that case. I was just glad that he was okay, and that those men were okay.”
Williams’ TIDE Swimming Coach, Drew Crockett, also commended the athlete.
“I am proud to see him serving his community outside of the pool and putting his talents in the water to help others,” Crockett said in an email, through a spokesperson for TIDE Swimming.
The Virginia Beach Safety Council created the Lifesaver Award in 1967 to recognize city residents who acted to ensure the safety of other citizens.