Weddings are meant to be the happiest day in the lives of the bride and groom, who are committing themselves to each other for eternity. Sometimes people get cold feet and bail out on their wedding at the very last moment, realizing that they are going to spend the rest of their lives with someone. One Alabama man sprinted away from his wedding as quickly as possible without a second thought about his bride. The reason why he ran away was not through fear, but something much more extraordinary.
Zac and Cindy
Zac Edwards was preparing to marry the woman of his dreams, Cindy, and nothing would stop him. The pair had only been together for a year, but already they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with one another.
Zac and Cindy are from Spanish Fort, Alabama, each with three children of their own. Their two families were coming together as one, and everything appeared to be going well until Zac hightailed it out of there.
Marine science technician
Zac is a marine scientist who has also been working with the United States Coast Guard. He and Cindy were getting married on the beach, which seemed fitting for Zac to be so close to the water as he spends much of his life in it.
Something in the water was calling to Zac that day, and his wedding ceremony wasn’t going to be the perfect moment in the bride and groom’s lives they thought it would. Instead of spending the day by his bride’s side, Zac would disappear.
Orange Beach, Alabama
The wedding ceremony between Zac and Cindy was taking place on Orange Beach, Alabama. With the couple being residents of the state, they went looking for the ideal wedding venue and decided on the Alabama beach.
The weather is often pretty hot in Alabama, so a relaxed wedding was a good idea to make sure the bride, groom, and guests were not overheating in stuffy outfits. Being on the beach meant that the wedding party were not wearing traditional wedding outfits.
The wedding of a lifetime
Having been swept up in a whirlwind romance, Zac and Cindy had planned the wedding of a lifetime to celebrate their love.
Nothing was going to get in the way of the pair becoming husband and wife, but it seemed as though Zac might have second thoughts. Later in the ceremony, Zac would run away from everyone, leaving the entire party wondering if they would ever see him again. What was meant to be the happiest day of his bride’s life turned to tensions and confusion.
Open to the public
A beach wedding is one of the most beautiful ways two people can get married. With the backdrop of the ocean and the sound of the waves crashing, it creates a wonderful atmosphere for a wedding.
Throw some sand and sunshine into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a picture perfect wedding. The one drawback to having your ceremony on the beach is that it is open to the public and you can’t stop people coming along or interfering with your big day. Something Cindy found out the hard way.
Zac and Cindy’s wedding was actually going really well, and it seemed like it was the perfect celebration of their love for each other.
In the glorious Alabama sunshine, the pair were enjoying the day and everything appeared to be going as planned. Zac had stuck around long enough that the couple was actually declared husband and wife, meaning Cindy was now an Edwards, just like her husband. If Zac was willing to stay long enough to be officially married, why would he later run away?
Red flag day
At the beach on the day of the wedding, the sea was pretty rough. It was a red flag day which meant the coast guards were warning people not to enter the water, especially not at depths deep enough to swim.
The currents would be strong, and they would prove too much for many swimmers, even highly experienced ones. Despite the warnings, people can often end up ignoring them and putting themselves in danger by getting into the water.
Time for the photos
Zac and Cindy’s wedding appeared to be the perfect day. They had gone through the entire ceremony, and all that was left to do was wrap things up and take some more photos.
You can’t have a good wedding without the pictures, and being on the beach mean that the happy couple would get some amazing shots of their special day. It was during the photographs that things started to change, and Zac was getting ready to bolt from his new wife and family.
Something wasn’t quite right
It would become apparent that something just wasn’t right that day, and Zac was one of the first to notice it. The marine scientist was so close to the place he spends much of his life, the water.
Even though the water was too rough to swim in, something was calling Zac into the ocean. Could he keep resisting it, or would he abandon his wedding party to get back into the place he loved so much? Maybe there was a reason Zac chose to be married so close to the sea.
A stranger approached
As Zac and Cindy were posing for their wedding photos, they heard the cries of a stranger.
A woman was yelling for help. This woman had spotted someone out at sea struggling with the current of the water, it looked as though they were pretty close to drowning. Aware of the dangers, she chose not to dive in and try to rescue the struggling swimmer, but instead went searching for someone who could. As fate would have it, Zac was on the beach that day, and now he faced a dilemma.
Zac starts running
Zac had to make a quick decision, did he abandon his wedding to save the drowning person, or should he make sure his perfect day stays that way? Being a part of the United States Coast Guard meant that Zac couldn’t stand back and do nothing.
When he realized there was a chance he could save someone’s life he sprinted away from his wedding party and straight toward the danger. Zac knew that he wouldn’t have much time as the currents were so strong the swimmer could be dragged further out.
One thing Zac knew he needed to do was to get as many of his clothes off as possible to allow him freedom of movement in the water.
He came to the beach in his wedding outfit, but soon that was being tossed to the sand as Zac was preparing to jump into the water. As he stood facing the water, his wife caught up to him. Zac had run away, but he wasn’t going in without a word from his new wife.
There wasn’t time
It wasn’t the words of encouragement he might have been expecting, and instead, Cindy told him to get on with it!
Zac had whipped off his shirt in no time but was struggling to remove his pants, and his new wife instructed him to just jump in. If Zac had continued fumbling with his pants the person struggling in the water might drown, so he just had to jump in with them on. There was a person’s life at stake!
Jumping in the water
There was no time for anything else but to jump in and start swimming. On his way into the water, Zac managed to grab a boogie board which would help him get over the waves while staying afloat.
The person struggling in the water was 18-year-old Jamel Robinson. He had been playing in the sea and was boogie boarding himself when he got dragged out by the strong current. Zac needed to get to Jamel as quickly as possible because the teenager’s chances of survival were getting smaller by the second.
Swimming out to sea
Zac began to make his way out to the middle of the choppy sea, despite the danger he was putting himself in.
With three kids of his own and another three belonging to his new wife, Zac was risking an awful lot to go out and save Jamel. It didn’t matter to Zac though, and he just knew that he needed to go out there to save this boy, his wife even encouraged him to get in the water. Would he be too late though?
Getting to the teen
It wasn’t long until Zac began to get close enough to the teenager to speak to him. Before he knew it, he had made it all the way to the teenager, but that was the easy part, the hard part would be battling against the current back to the beach.
When he first spotted Jamel, Zac said that the teen was around 50 yards out to sea. By the time he had swum out to Jamel they were around half a football field away from shore, and their chances were bleak.
Struggling to make it back
Zac began swimming while holding the young man, but things were tough going. There was a reason why the red flags were out that day, and it was because swimming in the sea was next to impossible if caught up in the current.
Not only was Jamel exhausted from his attempts to get back, but Zac was starting to tire too. Cindy said that she could see from the beach that Zac had tired and they were no longer making progress toward the shore. Was this going to end in tragedy?
Knowing that Jamel was struggling to breathe, Zac propped the teenager’s head up against the boogie board. This allowed him to regain his breath without exhausting him further by forcing him to swim.
With Jamel’s energy spent, and Zac fading fast, all the pair could do now was give it one last try otherwise they could both end up drowning. Zac’s efforts were now useless, and the pair were stranded out at sea, the only thing keeping them afloat was the boogie board that the marine scientist took spontaneously.
Waiting for help
The problem for Zac and Jamel was that the coast guards were actually busy saving someone else from a similar situation. That meant Zac and Jamel were stranded in the sea, just hoping and praying that some help would come along.
After what must have felt like an eternity, some help came from the rescue team. As a jetski approached, Zac was able to wedge Jamel on the vehicle before jumping on to save himself too. Now they were safely making their way back to the beach.
Returning to the beach
Finally, the pair could step foot on solid ground once again. Cindy said she wasn’t worried for her new husband until he started tiring. Zac said that it wasn’t until that night when the size of the event truly hit him.
He said that as he returned to the shore, his hands were shaking with adrenaline but he didn’t realize how significant his actions were until lying in bed that evening. Without his help, there is every chance Jamel wouldn’t have made it back to the beach in one piece.
The party continues
This all took place on Zac’s wedding day, and when he got back to the beach, he had a party to resume. As he arrived at his wedding reception his guests were stunned to see him turn up wet and covered in sand.
Zac said that his pants had restricted him while rescuing Jamel, and now was the time to get rid of them once and for all. The only thing Zac had to change into were some board shorts, which he said were his most comfortable outfit of the day!