Man Saved Girl From Drowning, Now Her Family Are Helping Raise Money For His Wedding

by : Emily Brown on : 08 Nov 2020 18:33
Man Saved Girl From Drowning, Now Her Family Are Helping Raise Money For His WeddingABC News

A Texas family are hoping to thank the man who saved their daughter from drowning by raising money for his wedding. 

The incident took place in August, when 10-year-old Haylee Whiting, was playing in the sea in Monterey, California, while on holiday with her family. Her mum, Samantha, had asked her daughter to come closer to shore, but Haylee found herself caught in a rip current.


The current was quickly taking Haylee further out to sea, and the young girl remembers thinking, ‘This is not happening. There’s no way I’m being pulled out.’

Mum and daughterABC News

Samantha tried to go to her rescue and managed to reach Haylee, but she ‘underestimated the current’ and found that the water was ‘slowly taking both of [them] down.’

Haylee said she was ‘terrified’, and the screaming caught the attention of Kevin Cozzi, who was on the beach nearby with his fiancée.


Kevin told ABC7 News he’s been swimming competitively since he was three years old, so he felt he would be capable enough to get to the mother and daughter.

He explained:

I ran out there and as soon as I got to the mom, I knew she was struggling.


Thankfully, Kevin was able to reach Haylee and pull her closer to shore, where a lifeguard came to their aid.

Samantha only ever knew Kevin by his first name, and for months she felt she needed to find him to properly express her thanks. In a bid to connect once again Samantha posted about the rescue in a Facebook group called Merced Neighborhood Watch this week, and within hours she was in touch with Kevin.

Haylee saved from drowningGoFundMe

After learning that Kevin and his fiancée had to cancel their wedding due to the coronavirus outbreak, Samantha decided to set up a GoFundMe page to help the heroic man afford his dream wedding.


The page explains:

If it wasn’t for him risking his life in such a selfless act I would have lost not only my own life but my baby girl.

I want to raise money for Kevin and his fiancée to have their dream wedding and honeymoon, any amount helps and is much appreciated. Lord knows he deserves so much more than this.

Kevin rescued 10-year-old from drowningABC News

Samantha set a goal of $50,000, and more than 1,000 people have already donated more than $31,500. The mother thanked everyone for their support, and expressed her hopes that the money may even help Kevin and his future wife put a down payment on a house.


She added:

Kevin and his fiancée are still so humble saying they don’t deserve this. I feel like if I had the money to give them anything in life I would, because they saved my world, my child. My family will now have a bond with this man and his family forever, we ARE family now.

Samantha and Haylee plan to attend Kevin’s wedding, where they will thank him once again for his heroic rescue.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, California, rescue, Texas, Wedding


ABC7 News and 1 other
  1. ABC7 News

    Texas family wants to give back to man who saved 10-year-old from drowning

  2. GoFundMe

    A hero named Kevin