Photo courtesy of The Hall Family.
Dunedin, Florida -- People flock to Honeymoon Island State Park for the wild beauty.
"To us it seems like the Caribbean, the colors of the water, so we really enjoy it," said Linda Anderson, while watching a dolphin frolic just off shore.
But Honeymoon Island is also home to wild currents and on Sunday those currents turned deadly. Witnesses say tidal currents rushing through Hurricane Pass swept up three children from Ohio.
"They were waving their arms," said Allan Jones, who was at the beach on Sunday.
The kids' parents, Kevin and Nicole Monahan, were able to bring Bryden, 10, and Ruby, 5, to safety. But 4-year-old Lucy was still struggling. And that's when Alan B. Hall swam to the rescue, putting his own life in jeopardy.
According to investigators with the Department of Environmental Protection, shortly after pushing Lucy to safety, Hall leaned back in the water and by the time other rescuers got to him he was unresponsive.
"He was face down in the water," said Jones.
The park's manager, Peter Krulder, says Sunday's full moon and wind direction combined to make for some especially strong currents and signs do warn visitors about them.
The Pinellas medical examiner's office says Hall drowned, but the 65-year-old may have also had cardiac problems while in the water. However, upon hearing of his heroics, beachgoers on Monday said Hall showed plenty of heart.
"A lot of people wouldn't do anything," said Monica Pena. "I'm glad he saved that little girl."
Hall and his wife Eileen had recently retired and moved from Connecticut to the Land O' Lakes area, in order to be nearer their daughter Julie who lives in Lutz. Late Monday afternoon, Eileen told 10 News, that even if her husband knew the outcome, he would have done the very same thing.
In an email, Julie Hall-Lavorgna wrote about her father, "He was a hero to me, my brother and mom our whole lives. Yesterday he got to be someone else's hero. We are so glad that little girl is safe...he loved life and helped anyone he saw in need."