NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A 6-year-old Galliano boy talks about his near death experience five days ago in deadly currents off Elmer’s Island.
The boy was rescued by the man he called ‘Paw Paw’ who would not survive the dangerous conditions.
Zane Griffin was rescued by 43-year-old Chris Boudreaux as the two of them became trapped in dangerous current.
"I was swimming and then the waves just took me," said the boy, who was wearing floaties.
“Chris was going toward him and he just grabbed him and he threw him toward us and he ended up going under,” said the boy’s father Derrick Griffin.
Derrick, who had gone swimming with Boudreaux dozens of times, did all he could after getting his son to safety.
“I was able to get about 10 feet from him, but the current was just too much,” said Griffin. “He gave his life for my son.”
Zane, who misses dancing with Paw Paw and watching cartoons, is still trying to absorb it all.
“What do you think would’ve happened if Papa hadn’t saved you?” we asked him. “I would’ve died or would’ve drowned,” said Zane.
Those who loved Chris Boudreaux say a warning system on the beach would’ve made a difference.
Sharmyn Manfry, Boudreaux’s wife, says there should’ve been some sort of beach warning system, such as flags which are common in Florida and Alabama.
“Riptide warnings saying tide will be stronger than normal would be awesome because people wouldn’t go there,” she said.
Grand Isle officials and the National Weather Service say they are working on a warning system that could have prevented Boudreaux, and five others who drowned in Grand Isle in the last six weeks.
Zane Griffin has a message for others going for a swim at the beach.
"I'm gonna tell her not to go so far in the water a wave will catch you and then you will die," said the boy.
It’s a lesson Zane learned the hard way while losing a man his family considers the boy’s, guardian angel.
Funeral services for Chris Boudreaux will be held June 20. Grand Isle officials have closed several stretches of beaches and stepped up safety patrols.