Navy volleyball players: Bump, set, save!

Sailors rescue teens at Florida beach

Phil Briggs
May 11, 2018 - 5:15 pm

Mr. Steven Denote


Members of the All-Navy Men’s Volleyball team recently gave their best performances on the beach near Naval Station Mayport.  

The DOD is reporting Chief Petty Officer Aniahau Desha, Hospitalman Gaston Yescas, Petty Officer 1st Class Sheldon Lucius and Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Essick were getting ready for a day at the beach while two teenage girls were in trouble off the shore.

“We’d just sat down, and some ladies came up the beach were yelling for help, seeing that the girls were out in the waves, needing help … we just ran into the water and got them,” Desha told US Armed Forces Sports.

When they reached the teenagers, one of the girls was holding her unresponsive friend. Lucius got the conscious swimmer to the shore, and Essick and the others carried the unresponsive swimmer onto the beach.

“As soon as I picked her up, I noticed that she wasn’t breathing … I checked for her pulse -  there was no pulse. So we immediately started chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth,” said Desha.

Desha and Yescas conducted CPR until emergency rescue personnel arrived on scene to relieve them.

“Since I’m a corpsman up to date with the CPR certifications and all, and I was also a lifeguard for eight years, this was honestly like a normal drill, I would say, because I’ve been in a lot of incidents likes this,” said Yescas.

The Navy Times reported the girl has since been released from the hospital.

Yescas said, “It makes me feel great to hear that she made it out alive. Her mom sent us a message on Facebook to let us know that she was getting discharged, and that her daughter was going to write us a letter and send us a picture just saying thank you for what we did.”

“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that this girl is going to see another day because of what we did. For the parents, especially, and as a parent myself, I couldn’t imagine hearing the news that something happened to my daughter, and if someone was there to help, I’d like them to do the same for me if it was my child. So, I’m pretty honored,” said Desha.

According to US Armed Forces Sports, the Navy team did not win the gold in the volleyball tournament that brought them to town.   

But they're certainly gold medal worthy when it comes to life saving beach missions.