“Mark would have done it for a complete stranger. The fact that he did it for his loved ones is not a surprise,” his wife said.
Mark Bryson, a father of four had no idea he would have to sacrifice his life as he saved his child from a rip current that approached to take them away. According to PEOPLE, the family was in Daytona Beach to celebrate his 7-year-old daughter’s birthday when his son and two family friends got swept away in a rip current. The incident occurred on Friday, June 2 when the Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs said no lifeguards were on duty in that area of the beach at the time of the incident.
The incident sent waves of shock across the community as the family was shattered by it. The family was on an outing when the incident took place. According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal Bryson raced into the water to save his children and further went in to save a friend who was caught by the current. Lori McElligott wife of Bryson told WFTS-TV, “He wasn’t going to leave anybody out there. They fought to try to get to each other and it just kept pulling him further and further out.” She added, “He was a superhero to his kids always, but I think he’s a superhero to a lot more now.”
While Lori McElligott and her husband, Mark Bryson, were at Daytona Beach on Friday, the couple’s son and two family friends, in knee-deep water, got caught in a rip current. Bryson helped them out of the water but lost his own battle with the current. https://t.co/GVayYEV5xo— JET/FOX/YourErie.com (@JET24FOX66) June 7, 2023
According to reports, Volusia County lifeguards have carried out over 500 rescues in the past few weeks. Visitors to Daytona Beach often underestimate the strength of rip currents, as mentioned by Malphurs, a representative from the lifeguard team, as reported by the News-Journal. McElligott's partner was in a precarious situation, and McElligott firmly believes that he would have acted decisively regardless of the circumstances. “Mark would have done it for a complete stranger,” she told WFTS-TV. “The fact that he did it for his loved ones is not a surprise whatsoever.”
Mark Bryson and Lori McElligott were high school sweethearts. They have four children together. On Friday, June 2, the couple went to Daytona Beach with some family friends. Bryson was caught up in deadly rip currents and drowned. https://t.co/MNZsIGpvIe— FOX 35 Orlando (@fox35orlando) June 8, 2023
The GoFundMe page for the brave dad reads, “My friend Lori whom I have known since high school just lost her husband and father of their 4 children, Mark to a rip current in Daytona while saving his son. They have been together since high school and my heart breaks for them. Mark died a hero though.” Lifeguards were eventually alerted and swiftly arrived at the scene to assist. The man, who was without a pulse at the time, was rescued from the water with the help of the lifeguards, as reported by the News-Journal. Immediate efforts were made to administer life-saving measures to revive him. He was then transported to a local hospital in order to receive further medical attention.
Despite the best efforts of the lifeguards and medical professionals, the man tragically succumbed to his injuries while at the hospital. The exact nature of his injuries was not specified in the report.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe