A vacation in Tennessee turned deadly for Michigan man Andrew Ehrman after the weather took a turn for the worse.

The 30-year-old was out for a swim with his fiancée and friends when strong winds and choppy waves drove him to escape the water by taking shelter on the boat.

However, when he saw his friends and his fiancée struggling to get out of the choppy water, he immediately went back in to help them.

Screenshot/Fox 2 Detroit

Ehrman’s sister, Katrina Mazzoco told Fox 2 Detroit:

“He saw someone struggling and instinctively his body told him to go back and get her.”

She continued:

“He used the last of his energy to push [his fiancée,] Amanda back to the boat. She got within 5-10 feet to the boat. Before they knew it, they didn’t see him anymore.”

Screenshot/Fox 2 Detroit

The former mechanical engineer is now being hailed a “hero” for his sacrifice. Mazzaco said:

“He made a decision – the most selfless decision that you can make – that anyone can make and he made that decision and it cost him his life. It’s just important that everyone knows that he was heroic in that aspect.”

Screenshot/Fox 2 Detroit

Before taking to the water, it’s crucial to pay attention to local weather forecasts. The Veolia website encourages people to “stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.”

In addition, if swimming in a lake, the American Red Cross recommends always wearing a life jacket in case of unpredictable circumstances. Many water emergencies happen “quickly and silently,” and it is imperative to be alert.

The American Red Cross also recommends to “reach or throw” something at a potential drowning victim rather than going in after them in order to ensure the safety of as many people as possible. Furthermore, it advises:

Have reaching and throwing equipment on hand, such as ring buoys or reaching poles, or even a water jug tied to a rope or a broom.

Whenever boating or near water, even if you don’t expect to go in, always have U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets available. Life jackets should be the proper size for each individual and in good condition.

Have cell phones or portable phones nearby to help ensure that you can quickly call 9-1 in the event of an emergency.

Have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand. Ensure that you know how to use the equipment and that expiration dates have not passed.

Screenshot/Fox 2 Detroit

Ehrman’s loss was a tragedy. He was a father, a brother, a son. Mazzaco doesn’t want her brother to have died in vain:

“It really makes you think of how fragile life is because if this could have happened so quickly so young a full of life,” she said.

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