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Witnesses relive scene of when 16-year-old drowns on Labor Day – WRDW

APPLING, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Winners of a Labor Day fishing tournament will remember the Labor Day holiday for the rest of their lives, but for different reasons.
Tanner Hadden and Caleb Hudson were both out on the water on Labor Day when they heard cries for help and they looked to step in.
“It was kind of surreal,” said Hudson. “We’re out there fishing and then you hear somebody hollering for help and you turn around and you see people going under and coming back up. Fight or flight kicked in and we ran over.”
They rushed their boat over to see what was happening.
“One of the people was actually going under, we grabbed her first. I wasn’t able to pull her up myself. He helped get the other gentleman in the boat. We both grabbed her, pulled her on the back deck. After that, we just ran them to shore as fast as we could,” said Hudson.
Once they got the other two to shore to get them help, they raced back out to try and find the missing 16-year-old.
“We actually got really lucky when they were trying to pin us at the time. It was right after we dropped them off on the bank,” said Hudson. “We went back out to look for the third person and about that same time he was on the phone with the first responders and a sheriff’s boat just happened to be driving by so we flagged them down told them the situation.”
Eventually the Department of Natural Resources found the body of Se’Vonn Small.
Hadden said: “It’s crazy to think how quick something can turn like that.”
If they weren’t out there, the death toll could’ve tripled.
“I’m just happy we were there at the right time. We’re able to save two people,” said Hadden.
It’s a moment that’ll stick with these two forever.
“Wear your life jackets. I guarantee nobody had that planned,” said Hadden and Hudson.
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