459th LRS Airman saves life during annual tour
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md -- “I can’t let him drown, If I panic, we could both possibly lose our lives; focus, breathe, and get him to shore.”
These thoughts that ran through Tech Sgt. Kyle Waddy-Jordan’s head as he fought to get his wingman safely to shore.
Waddy-Jordan is a material management craftsman with the 459th Logistics Readiness Squadron. While on annual tour with his squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, the team decided to have a morale function at one of the nearby beaches outside the base. While the team was on shore, one Airman ventured out to the floating obstacle course that was about 13 feet away in the ocean.
“I was in the water and saw that there was an obstacle course nearby,” said Senior Airman Adetokunbo Osibowale, 459th LRS material management journeyman. “I decided to go check it out.”
As Osibowale began wading out to the obstacle course, suddenly, he dropped about seven feet under water. Panicking, he came up to the top and began screaming for help.
“I was in the water and all of a sudden I heard a scream for help. I looked over and saw Airman Osibowale about 10 feet away going under and coming up flailing his arms, choking and screaming,” Waddy-Jordan said.
At this moment, Waddy-Jordan realized he was the only other person in the water and the closest to Osibowale. He immediately began swimming over to the panicking Airman while trying to stay calm himself.
“I swam about 10 feet to him and grabbed him and brought him above water; he started panicking and began dragging me under as well. I knew I needed to stay calm or else we both may end up drowning,” Waddy-Jordan said.
Waddy-Jordan began yelling for help in hopes that his team will hear and come over to help. The team jumped in the water, swam over and began dragging both Airmen out the water to shore.
“We got him out the water and saw that he went unconscious, we were getting ready to start CPR when he came to,” Waddy-Jordan said.
Osibowale, who was not an experienced swimmer, gained consciousness and immediately expressed his gratitude for Waddy-Jordan saving his life.
“I had no clue there was a drop in the water, there were no signs or anything,” Osibowale said. “I am grateful Tech. Sgt. Jordan was there to save life. If it wasn’t for him being there, I may not be alive right now.”
Waddy-Jordan shares how his experience has made him understand the importance of staying calm in situations that could possibly affect someone’s life.
“This situation easily could have been tragic. If I would have panicked, we both may have drowned,” he said. “I advise people to always have a buddy with you when you are in an open body of water and make sure people know exactly where you are. You never know what can happen.”
Waddy-Jordan’s leadership shares how grateful they are for his actions.
“It does not surprise me that those were the words, thoughts and actions of TSgt Waddy-Jordan,” said 1st Lt. Astin Moore, 459th Air Refueling Wing installation deployment officer. “While he is often quiet and reserved, one thing about him is that he is ALWAYS looking out for his Airmen. Constantly looking for the best way to help and support them while staying calm and ensuring not to make any situation worse, because he thinks first and acts second! In this situation it wasn’t PME, growth, or training but ensuring his Airman has the opportunity to spend more time with his friends, family and loved ones.”
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