Update: Drowning victim called "Hero" - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Update: Drowning victim called "Hero

By Jason Dennis - bio | email | Twitter

Special fund set up to help family with funeral costs

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - A Columbus man is being called a hero, giving his life to save a drowning 12-year-old boy.   What was supposed to be a fun weekend outing off the Georgia coast quickly turned into a nightmare.

Homer Roberts Jr. of Columbus is the second drowning victim on tybee island this year.

His fiance, Charlitta Roberts, told us: "I can't close my eyes because the only thing I can see is him going up under that water."

She's traumatized after seeing her fiance drown off Tybee Island near Savannah. It started Friday night - she and Roberts Jr., along with another couple and their son were all swimming together across the channel.

"We were in the water, no lifeguards, nothing. We thought it was just a normal day," said Muriel Dunbar, the mother of the rescued boy.  "Then all of a sudden, next thing you know, in a split second, we all were underwater, fighting for our lives....I know it felt like a washing machine, we were stuck in it."

Trapped in the strong currents, Dunbar says 33-year-old Homer Roberts pushed her 12-year-old son out of the rip tide, saving him, but he was unable to stay above water.

Dunbar remembers talking to Roberts: "I can't hold on no more...I said yes you can, float on your back!"

Crying, the victim's fiance said, "A hat, shirt, and some clothes - that's the only thing I got to remember him by! I lost my soul mate, my best friend."

And his last words on Tybee Island...

"Homer said, not today, little boy's won't drown today, not today, not while I've got breath in my body," Dunbar said.

She calls him a strong swimmer and a man who loved family.

"All he talked about was his children. He was a momma's boy," Charlitta Roberts added.

They say he grew into a man, and now a hero. 

Roberts' body is expected to arrive in Columbus in the next couples days. Funeral arrangements are still being made.

Dunbar says she's getting t-shirts made with Homer's picture on the front and her son on the back, with the words thank you.

She also tells us, there needs to be signs on Tybee Island, warning people that someone died there and they need to be careful.

A special fund has been set up at CB&T for the family of Home T. Roberts. Just stop by any branch to make a donation.

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