Man, woman die trying to save drowning toddler on Mother's Day

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — A heroic act ended in tragedy after a man and a woman died while trying to save a child Sunday evening.

The Glynn County Police Department and emergency crews were called to St. Simons Island near Massengale Park around 6 p.m. after Aleisha Rankin, 34, of Jesup, and a toddler were seen in the water, struggling to make it back to shore. Gregory Grant, 39, jumped in to help them.


The woman and child made it back to shore with the help of several others at the scene, but Grant went underwater and did not resurface, officials said.

Two off-duty nurses performed CPR on Rankin, according to The Brunswick News.

Rankin was rushed, in critical condition, to the hospital, where she later died.

Her family said she hear the toddler screaming for help and jumped in to save the child. She then began to struggle, and that's when Grant jumped in to help.

After hours of searching for Grant, family members spotted his body on the beach around 7:30 a.m. Monday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rankin's daughter posted on social media, "My mama lost her life saving someone else's child. That's a real mother. She died being a mother on Mother's Day."

The toddler was taken to the hospital and is said to be doing well.