Updated:MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. —
A man from Great Falls has drowned at Myrtle Beach.
Horry County’s coroner Robert Edge said Henry Lane, 68, died Thursday afternoon.
Keith Lane called his father the best man he ever knew.
On Thursday afternoon, he struggled and fought to save his father when a rip current pulled both of them under the waves at North Myrtle Beach.
They were both standing near each other in chest-deep water.
"We were standing about two feet apart from one another and I started getting swept away. Next thing I knew, I looked over at him and he was being swept away, too," Lane said.
Lane saw his father drifting further and further away from him. No matter what he did, he could not reach his father.
"He was fighting so hard, and I was fighting so hard. He tried to get to me and I tried to get to him. There was nothing we could do," he said.
Lane lost consciousness.
The next thing he remembered was throwing up sea water on the beach. Two strangers nearby had pulled him out of the waves to safety, risking their lives, as well.
"When I woke up on the beach, I would say, ‘My father was at least 100 yards from me,’" he said.
Henry Lane was later pronounced dead at the hospital, a devastating loss for this very close Chester County family.
His father and mother had been at North Myrtle Beach at the travel park since Saturday. The rest of the family joined them a few days later.
It was a favorite family vacation spot.
Lane said the water seemed fine and there were no posted warnings out for rip currents or rough surf. However, the tide was coming in, and the danger was very sudden.
"I just kept getting sucked out. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing either of us could do," he said.
Henry Lane's wife and children described him as a dedicated family man. His nickname was “Buddy” because friends said he would help anybody he could.
Lane worked for Tru Vista Phone Company for 44 years, and his Great Falls family is well known in the community.
Keith Lane wanted other beach-goers to know that an undertow is a hidden danger that can strike in an instant.
"It was a great day and we were just out there having fun. We didn't see any warning signs or anything," he said.
Lane said he does not know the people who rescued him and tried to save his dad, but he wants to thank them for all they did.