(ABC NEWS) – The woman who saved the life of a drowning ten-year-old boy only learned afterwards that the child’s three siblings died in the tragic incident.
Veronika Alvarez, 23, was with her dog at Sylvan Beach in Texas on Thursday afternoon when she saw two adults go under water.
The adults ultimately survived.
“I saw the mom and dad go under,” she told KTRK in an interview.
Alvarez said she just jumped in the water and went for the first boy she saw.
“He wasn’t swimming, he was in shock,” she said, adding that her first instinct was to just keep his head above water.
People who were trying to pull Alvarez and the boy out of the water were being dragged by the strong current. What she didn’t know was that there were three other younger children in the water as well.
“I thought the other hands I was feeling were the people around me — I didn’t know there were other kids going down,” she said. “I found out at the hospital there were three other ones and I just started crying.”
Shortly after 6 PM on Thursday evening, Harris County Sheriff, Ed Gonzalez tweeted that four juveniles were swimming and may have been overcome by waves after going beyond a water safety buoy.
1-@HCSOTexas Park Units are our at Sylvan Beach Dr (LaPorte). Four juveniles were swimming, possibly went beyond a water safety buoy, and were overcome by a waves. Tides & rip currents are strong. #HouNews pic.twitter.com/7VTJAXaVpk— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) August 9, 2019
In a series of Twitter messages, Gonzalez tweeted updates shortly after that the bodies of the three younger children were recovered. A seven-year-old boy, an eleven-year-old boy, and a thirteen-year-old girl did not survive and were pronounced deceased at the scene.
Update to Sylvan Beach: two deceased bodies have been recovered from the water. An active search remains for the 3rd juvenile. A unified command post has been set up for all agencies, Chambers County SO will be the lead agency. @HCSOTexas & others assisting. #HouNews— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) August 9, 2019
Sylvan Beach update: the final body has just been recovered. Believed to be the 7 year old make. No words. Please keep the children and their family in your prayers. #HouNews— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) August 9, 2019
In a statement released today by the Chambers County Sheriff’s office, the investigation is still ongoing and the names of the deceased will be released at a later time.
Alvarez went back to the beach this morning to place flowers on a bench nearby.
And she had a message of safety for parents of young kids: “There’s always a pool, a little kid pool, something easily that they can drown in… teach them breathing techniques.”