“I wish I would’ve held on longer," said the father of a teen missing in Orange Beach waters

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - The unimaginable happened to a Louisiana family vacationing in Orange Beach. Saturday, their 14-year-old son was swept into rough waters and has not yet been found.

This was their first time in Orange Beach, and they planned on staying just one day to celebrate their son Tyreke Walker’s 14th birthday, which was only three days prior.

“I just wish that he comes back,” said his mother, Canhtam Nguyen.

Dangerous rough waters roped him in Saturday evening, just after beach flags were upgraded from red to double red, according to Orange Beach Fire Rescue.

His dad, Clint was almost swept away with him. He was later rushed to the emergency room due to excessive water inhalation.

He told FOX 10 of those last moments with his son.

“He’s like ‘I’m sorry, I can’t come back,’” said Clint Walker, father. “I grabbed him, and I had him, but the water was just pulling us and pulling us. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it. I lost his grip. I kept getting thrown to the bottom of the water, and somehow, I made it to shore, and he didn’t. I just wish I would’ve held on longer.”

Orange Beach Fire Rescue transitioned the search from sea to shore, combing the beaches for any sign of Tyreke.

“Right now, our efforts are wanting to bring closure to the family as much as possible, but it’s really a waiting game at this point trying to recover the child,” said Bruce Nelson, battalion chief.

The family also pleaded to be on the lookout.

“If there’s any signs at all,” said Nguyen. “I know that there’s a chance he might not even be on Orange Beach anymore, just please. I just want to see him. I just want him home with the family. I don’t want that to be the last moment I saw him.”

While searching for their son, they were also searching for a Good Samaritan.

“I don’t know the guy’s name, but in the heat of the moment when everything was happening, there was another dude that went out to go save him,” said Walker. “I just want to tell him personally thank you for trying to help save my son.”

As the search for Tyreke continues, they expressed their deepest thank you to Orange Beach Fire Rescue, police, lifeguards, and anyone who’s helped try to find their son.


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