CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — She's been a surfer for less than a year, but her relatively new hobby put Lyra Kelly in the right place at the right time to save a boy's life Sunday night.
He and his older brother were swept far off shore by a rip current around 8:30 p.m. just north of the Packery Channel.
Sadly, the older boy, 18-year-old Andru Bass has not been seen since.
Thankfully for his younger brother, Kelly and a friend were surfing in that same area at the time.
“Me and my friend just kind of looked at each other, (and thought) ‘why are they out this far, you know, just swimming?’ Kelly said.
Then she heard the younger boy's cry for help.
“I just got this feeling that I really needed to go over there and check, (on them)," Kelly said. "So I just started paddling, and as I got more near to him, he began to just tell me, ‘help! Help!’
The boy was also calling for his brother, but with a long swim to shore ahead of them and Bass nowhere in sight, she urged him to grab on to her surfboard and paddle.
Finally, they made it to shore where the boy ran to a woman, presumably his mother, and Kelly ran to police and firefighters to report Bass missing.
“With the help of God, I got us both out somehow," she said. "And my body’s still recovering. It was hard, but I’m just glad we’re out safe, and I’m thankful for just being alive today."
Word of the rescue quickly made its way around the surfing community.
Surfer Chuck Smith is also a military veteran who's giving a lot of credit to Kelly and her friend for their efforts in saving a life.
"I have more respect for those two girls who did that than as much as anyone I’ve ever served with in the military or the border patrol," he said. "They are heroes.”