Desoto County Sheriff’s Department, MS Deputy William Nichols was on vacation in South Walton Beach, Florida with his family when his 10 year old son got caught in a strong tide. Deputy Nichols noticed his son being taken further and further out into the ocean, so he jumped into the water and swam out to his son.
Deputy Nichols was able to help his son to the shore, but the current took Deputy Nichols back out. Rescuers responded and pulled Deputy Nichols from the water and performed CPR, WREG reported. Deputy Nichols was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
Deputy Nichols was a 16 year veteran of the sheriff’s department and was the director of the Search and Rescue Division. Deputy Nichols spent most of his career on the water saving lives. “That’s what he did. He would just go out and help people and do what he could do to make people’s lives better,” said Desoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco.
Florida’s Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson Jr. posted on Facebook, “His last act of service was rescuing his own son. We have no words to express our devastation. Our hearts go out to his family and our brothers and sisters in Desoto County. Rest In Peace, brother. We have the watch.”
Deputy Nichols leaves behind a wife and two children.
Thank you for your service. You are a true hero.