Kernersville couple save drowning woman near Beaufort

When her husband pointed to a disturbance in the water in front of their boat near Beaufort Inlet on Tuesday, Heather Robbins thought of everything other than what it actually was.

“I thought it was a dolphin or a whale or a shark,” she said. “But it was a person waving their hands. At first I thought it was someone doing the backstroke.”

It wasn’t.

The swimmer was Patty Wood, a 65-year-old from Colorado who’d been swept away from a tidal pool by a strong and sudden rip tide.

Robbins and her husband Frank didn’t have much time to react; Wood was in serious trouble and theirs was the only boat in the immediate vicinity. The current wouldn’t allow them to maneuver close, so Frank — a former beach lifeguard — dived in and began swimming.

His decision was instant. So, too, was his wife’s reaction. But it wasn’t what you think.

Read more in the Winston-Salem Journal.