Firefighter Saves Lives

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As Tropical Storm Matthew dumped rain on south Mississippi Saturday, an off-duty Gulfport firefighter saved the lives of a woman and her friend swimming in the Gulf.

Firefighter Tim Holliman was running errands when he spotted a woman swimming between Urie Pier and the Gulfport Yacht Club.

Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said Holliman noticed the woman was having a problem staying afloat. Sullivan said the friend told Holliman that the woman had been drinking.

When the woman went under water, Holliman dove in. The friend also went in. Holliman carried the woman ashore and began chest compressions when he realized she wasn't breathing.

Seconds after the woman began breathing, her friend cried out for help. Holliman found the man face down in the water.

Sullivan said a rescue team arrived and helped Holliman retrieve the man and resuscitate him. Sullivan did not know the name of the woman or her friend but he praised Holliman.

Sullivan said, "Mixing swimming in a tropical storm and alcohol is a recipe for disaster. They probably would have drowned if he (Holliman) wasn't there."