Alyssa Dewitt almost didn’t go to Lake Michigan that afternoon. The mother of two (soon to be three) children sat in the van at First Street Beach Pier for several minutes, contemplating the strength of the safety of an afternoon at the beach, given that strength of the wind.
Ultimately, she decided that keeping an eye on her six and two-year-old children would be fine, and she’s thankful she made the decision. She noticed a group of girls under fifteen out in the water, waving their arms at her.
Our everyday hero, Alyssa Dewitt.
“I happened to look up and saw one of the girls waving her arms towards me and immediately knew something was wrong,” she says. “I got up, pulled my kids out of the water and ran out onto the pier.”
Waiting for clarity wasn’t an option as a rip current swept the girls deeper into water, however. Despite being five months pregnant, she put her phone down, laid on the dock, and attempted to pull the girls to safety.
It wasn’t quite that simple, however. Every time Dewitt would get the girls part of the way up, a wave would smash one back down and nearly pull her in. For a moment, hope was thin, but she knew she couldn’t let those girls go.
“This girl looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to die.’ It makes me cry every time I think about it,” Alyssa said. “I said ‘I promise you. I am not going to let you die out here. I will get you out of this water.’”
Today Show story on Alyssa Dewitt.
Dewitt persevered. One by one, she was finally able to get the girls onto the pier before law enforcement even arrived. She attributes her sudden strength to “pure adrenaline.”
Thankfully, no one sustained life-altering injuries. Alyssa Dewitt only experienced a swollen wrist, and after being checked at a hospital, it has been confirmed the baby is fine as well.
Though Alyssa Dewitt has rightfully received international praise for her bravery, she praises her six-year-old daughter. She kept her little brother safe, who kept trying to run to his mother during the events.
“She was so calm and I’m extremely proud of her, she did a great job.”