Morehead City, N.C.
May 16, 2019
TO THE EDITOR:
On Mother’s Day, at the Longhorn Steakhouse, I had the privilege of meeting a young man by the name of Austin Potter who was our server. He had a great personality and he even sat with us for a few moments.
He told us that he was born in England and hadn’t been back since, and that he held dual citizenship with the United States. Throughout the meal we exchanged quips, particularly when the power went out for a few seconds. I commented to Austin that if we needed to evacuate the building without paying our bill, that I would be sure to leave him a tip. Austin replied, he was more concerned about adding up all of his tickets by hand without the register. Fortunately, the power stayed on.
I was shocked to learn that just a few days later he drowned in the ocean at Atlantic Beach while attempting to save a 5-year-old child who also drowned. My wife and I along with our son were devastated to learn about this. John 15:13 says: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
For the longest time I have often thought no one should chance swimming in the ocean without a flotation device such as the type of flotation vest water skiers wear. The new posted warning flags are important, but may not enough. I read online that there was a yellow flag in the area where these two drowning occurred. Perhaps it’s time for the oceanfront towns to develop and begin a coordinated campaign promoting the use of flotation vests for ocean swimmers. Rip tides are so prevalent in this area that additional steps are needed. It’s all about saving lives. Families who experience drownings are forever changed. I have been changed by the loss of my new friend Austin.
TOM SAUNDERS, Realtor