LSU student, 21, and a father, 55, lost their lives while trying to save others from rip current in Florida

Rest in peace, you died heroes.


Two men, a 21-year-old student and a 55-year-old father, lost their lives trying to rescue others during an incident that took place April 8 in Miramar Beach, Florida.

Layne Gravois, who was studying electrical engineering at the Louisiana State University (LSU), was on a spring break in Florida with two other friends, Jordan Servat and Reed Boudreaux, when they spotted a young boy drowning. Wanting to prevent a tragedy from taking place, the boys rushed into the water and helped create a human chain of around 70 people in a bid to fight the water currents.

Sadly, the chain “broke.” Sharing details of the accident, one of Gravois’ friends, Dexter Troxclair, told Fox 8 News: “The chain was about 60 to 70 people long and everyone was locking arms and about 50 people down the line into the ocean or the gulf, the chain broke.”

“It was like a war zone. You just saw person after person getting pulled into the water,” Troxclair shared with ABC affiliate WBRZ. “It was almost not real. I felt like I was looking at someone else. I just couldn’t believe in my head that that was my friend laying on the ground.”

Former lifeguard Ryan Doberstein also found himself at the scene and described the incident as “the most traumatic experience of his life.”

All the three fiends, along with a group of people, were taken out of the water and transferred to a hospital. Unfortunately, brave Gravois died. His friends were injured.

His grieving mother, Kristi Gros Gravois, said of her son, “He only went in the water to try and save him. Amazing son, athlete – loved football, baseball. Loved fishing, traveling, being with friends and family. He was the absolute best and we were blessed with him,” as reported by WWL-TV.

On the same day, at the same time and place, another hero who sacrificed his life in order to save others died. 55-year-old Kim McGrady drowned before saving three people. “Kim was always one to put others before himself. Kim McGrady left this world a hero,” the memorial set up for this courageous man said.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office released a statement which read: “During these water rescues, the flags stood at single red. That still indicates the water as an incredible threat to human life with high surf and strong rip currents. Know that just because we cannot keep you out of the Gulf during single red, does not mean you should be in it.

“Mother nature can be very unforgiving. This is a difficult post for us. We know there are families still grieving. But, we’re begging visitors to please continue to educate themselves regarding the flag system. We will continue to do our part.”

Rest in peace. Our hearts go out to the grieving families.