Three teens in distress were plucked from choppy gulf waters Wednesday by a surprising savior — a rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman.
Ted Larsen, 23, who played college football at North Carolina State, said he and his girlfriend were fishing on his 24-foot boat when he heard the Coast Guard signal at 3 p.m. that a boater was in distress.
After checking the coordinates, he realized it was nearby.
When he neared Honeymoon Island, he saw two people in the water holding on to their kayak, another still in another kayak.
"It could have been a big deal. You always read about overturned kayaks," Larsen said. "It was good to help them. It just felt it was a good thing to do."
Larsen pulled up the teens and their kayaks and shuttled them shore. The grateful kayakers didn't recognize him or talk very much after they touched dry land.
"They were just glad to have their parent's kayaks back and not sunk," he joked.
The professional football player said he doesn't consider himself a hero and he's just happy this story had a happy ending.
"That's an important lesson they learned," he said. "You've got be aware of the weather. The ocean can turn on you."