Claudia Huerta believes her husband, thirty-one year-old Elias Salvador, died a hero.
Salvador drowned yesterday in the Missouri River while rescuing his daughters, who were swept into the water by a fast-moving rogue wave as they were playing along the riverbank. According to Huerta, her husband couldn't swim, but it didn't stop him from rushing to his daughters' aid. She said: "I guess any father would go for his child - risk his life for his children. That's what he did."
Salvador braved the water and pushed his daughters into the arms of nearby fishermen, but couldn't save himself. He drowned. Rescue crews searched up and down the river for his body and discovered it late yesterday.
Salvador's family tells WOWT 6 News that Salvador's body had several bruises, and officials believe he might have been hit by debris in the water.
The Missouri River is treacherous. In fact, it is the fastest-flowing navigable river in North America. To keep river enthusiasts safe, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary regularly patrols the waterway, and today, Division Officer Jim Westcott told WOWT 6 News that the dangerous water should be feared and respected: He said: "You're playing in mother nature's backyard, and if you don't play by her rules, you will die. Always wear a life jacket whenever you're in or near the water."