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Grandfather dies trying to save grandson

7:34 PM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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MAYPORT, Fla -- Police say a man died after trying to rescue his 10-year-old grandson at Hanna Park Wednesday.

"I saw him screaming and waving his arms and I saw his grandma chasing in after him and that's when I realized there was a problem so I dove in," said Chas Riggleman.

The man, around 60 years old according to police, was trying to rescue his grandson from an apparent rip current. 

Riggleman, 24, ran into the water when he saw a little boy on the verge of drowning. 

He was able to save the child, but then realized an older man was taken further out by a current and had gone into distress. 

Another man brought in his surfboard, and both Riggleman and he struggled to pull the victim out of the water.

"Well when I first put him up there what was going through my mind was that I have a dead man on my surfboard. He was blue," said the man who helped rescue the victim. He did not want to give his name.

The victim was air-lifted to Shands Jacksonville Hospital in critical condition, but JSO Detective Childers confirmed he did not make it.

Police say the child is okay. 

It is believed that the two may have been pulled in by rip currents. Police say the family is not from Jacksonville. 

A sign at the entrance of the park that says there are no lifeguards on duty.

First Coast News

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