Just three days after saying “I do” to his wife, a 22-year-old man from Iowa drowned on their honeymoon.
According to KCRG, while enjoying the beaches near St. Augustine, Florida, Dalton Cottrell struggled to stay afloat while in the ocean. According to his new bride, Cheyenne, this was Cottrell’s first time in the water.
In a statement released by the local police department, authorities arrived as Cottrell was being put into an ambulance by paramedics.
Authorities say Cheyenne was in the water with Cottrell as the current pulled both of them further into the ocean:
“Cheyenne advised he began to struggle and she attempted to assist him but was unable to help due to him pulling her under. She advised at one point after him being under the water for approximately for a minute he came back up, and his eyes were rolled in the back of his head.”
According to eyewitnesses, a surfer could hear Cottrell yelling and grabbed his board to help. At the same time, as KCRG reports, another witness was able to grab a lifeguard’s attention who began performing CPR.
Sadly, Cottrell was later pronounced dead at a local St. Augustine hospital.
Just days following her husband’s unexpected passing, Cheyenne took to Facebook to express her grief. She wrote:
[Three] days of wedded bliss turned into a nightmare very quickly for the Cottrell family as well as mine own. Many of you know but more of you do not; so the family and I decided to put the awful news here on Facebook though this is not where I wish to place it or even have to say it.
Yesterday afternoon while at the beach the Lord decided to call my husband Dalton to come home to Him. There is so much fear and uncertainty coursing through myself. My parents came down early this morning to be with me as I begin the next journey. Never did I think at 22 would I be a wife and then a widow so quickly. Please pray for I and all families as we [grieve.] Right now there [are] no details for a funeral, but we will know more in the next several days. I love you so much Dalton Cottrell.
According to the National Weather Service, rip currents “are powerful currents of water moving away from shore. They can sweep even the strongest swimmer away from shore.”
The National Weather Service also advises people swimming in the ocean to “swim near a lifeguard” when possible and list what you should do if you find yourself trapped in one:
- Relax, rip currents don’t pull you under.
- Don’t swim against the current.
- Swim out of the current, then to shore.
- If you can’t escape, float or tread water.
- If you need help, yell or wave for assistance.
Cottrell was reportedly aspiring to be a pastor.