drone certificationDrone captures Stow teen rescuing woman, son from drowning at NC beach

July 19, 2021by helo-10

A Stow teen only served as a lifeguard for a year and a half, but that training and a great amount of adrenaline took over earlier this month when he saved two people from drowning at a North Carolina beach. 

On July 3, Travis Shrout, a Stow-Munroe Falls High School graduate and a rising sophomore at Hiram College, was spending his last day at the beach with his family in Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

The 18-year-old had spent the day catching waves on bodyboards with his brother and a family friend, and noticed that the waves were a little rougher than usual. 

Travis Shrout, 18, pulls Ashley Batchelor and her son, Conner, to shore after the two nearly drowned at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, on July 3.

Everyone decided to go back to shore, but family friend Thad Unkefer asked Shrout to go back out so that Unkefer could try a new tracking feature on his drone. 

Shrout swam out with his bodyboard and noticed Ashley Batchelor of North Carolina and her 10-year-old son, Conner, were farther out into the ocean and seemed to be struggling.

“I thought I heard ‘help’ but it was such a weird situation. I said, ‘Are you alright?’ and she said, ‘No,'” Shrout said. “I immediately started swimming out to her.” 

Shrout had earned a lifeguard certification from the Akron YMCA and served as a lifeguard at the Riverfront YMCA, and his training quickly kicked into gear. 

There were no lifeguards on the beach, Shrout said. 

“I’d already been out there already for an hour, maybe two. I was a little tired, but there was so much adrenaline,” Shrout said. 

By the time he reached Batchelor, Conner had already drifted another 10 to 15 feet, so Shrout gave the bodyboard to Batchelor and swam out to Conner.

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