When a Tennessee father and his three daughters got stuck in a riptide on a Florida beach, he made them a final promise: & # 39; I have you & # 39 ;.
Fred Pepperman, 53, died moments after he had brought his daughters to safety.
Pepperman and his family were on vacation on the beaches of the beaches of Seacrest and Miramar when one of his daughters, Grace, was 16, caught in a riptide.
His older daughters, Olivia, 20, and Kathryn, 24, went to help her, but they were swept to the sea and also had to be saved, WTSP reported.
A man from Tennessee tragically told his three daughters & # 39; I have you & # 39; moments before he died saving them after they were caught on a beach in Florida. Fred Pepperman is pictured above with his four girls
Fred Pepperman is pictured with his wife Julie. The couple had been married for 27 years and she praised her husband for saving the lives of his daughters
The incident took place on July 14 when Tropical Storm Barry moved in the direction of Louisiana. The South Walton Fire District had placed double red-flag conditions on the beach that weekend.
Fred Pepperman's wife, Julie, told WTSP that they were on the beach with extended family and that & # 39; water was fine & # 39 ;.
But despite the good conditions, they soon noticed that & # 39; something was wrong & # 39; when their 16 year old daughter was far away and Fred and his two other daughters rushed to help her.
Pepperman told the news: & # 39; Without him, at least three of me would have disappeared. It doesn't seem real.
& # 39; I just want people to know that many fathers say they would do it, and he did it, so that's a father. & # 39;
Pepperman, who also has a fourth daughter, named Mallory, swam outside to save the three girls and placed them on a plate that another family had given him to get them back.
Tragically, he became unconscious and was taken back to the coast by bystanders who gave CPR.
His eldest daughter Kathryn told her aunt that the last words her father said when he saved her were: & # 39; I have you & # 39 ;. The four girls are pictured above with their mother Julie, (center)
Julie Pepperman said that man Fred became unconscious and had to be withdrawn to the coast by a group of bystanders who then resuscitated him. The two are pictured together above
He was later declared dead after being taken to a local hospital, the outlet reported.
Pepperman's sister-in-law, Colette James, shared the moving last words he said to one of the girls before he died.
She said: & # 39; Kathryn said: & # 39; Dad, help me & # 39 ;, and he said: & # 39; I have got you. & # 39; & # 39; Those were his last words to her, & she said Today.
& # 39; Freddy has been there for many rescues in the family. Every time someone needed him, he was there, & she added.
James claimed that there was a warning with a double red flag before the tragedy took place, but nobody knew what they meant because the family was from the city.
Julie Pepperman brought a moving tribute to her husband on Facebook and described him as & # 39; amazing, selfless and tireless & # 39;
The incident occurred on July 14 when Tropical Storm Barry walked to Louisiana. Julie Pepperman, however, said that the water on the beach at Seacrest was fine that day
Julie Pepperman Posted an emotional tribute to her 32-year-old husband on Facebook, who shares several of his family's photos with his daughters and her.
In it she said: & He was wonderful, selfless, tireless and committed to making sure we were all out of the water.
& # 39; Once we were safe, he was just too exhausted to worry about himself. His body was worn out.
& # 39; Fred has lived his life in a friendly way for everyone and shared his big heart. I was blessed that God placed him in my life at the age of 16 and admitted him for 32 years. & # 39;
She claimed that the couple would have celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary on July 26.
The post added: & # 39; He was my love and a wonderful father for our children. You did well, Freddie. Our girls are safe. You saved your family. You are a good man, through and through. We love you and our heart breaks! & # 39;
A GoFundMe Account has been set up to help the family, which has raised $ 35,000 from a $ 50,000 goal so far.
It claims that Pepperman was interested in the outdoors, hunting, fishing and especially his time on the beach.
& # 39; Freddy was the true embodiment of integrity, honor and selflessness. He was a family man and always made people around him feel welcome and loved & # 39 ;, adds the GoFundMe page.
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