(WMC-TV) – A Mid-South man is being called a hero after he rescued his cousin from the ocean, but he hasn't been seen since.
Family members in New Albany, Miss., fear the worst, but are praying for a good outcome, even though they know the odds aren't in their favor.
Tay Elliot's father and stepmother went through albums of memories Tuesday, hoping the pictures weren't the last place they would see his face.
"Nobody wants to lose a child and I sure don't want to lose mine," said LeRoy Waldrup
After being lost at sea for more than 24 hours, those fears are creeping in on the family.
"Could you imagine if you lost something and never found it, that feeling that you feel?" Stephanie Waldrup asked.
If you ask Elliot's father, he'll tell you how proud he is of his son.
On a vacation in Panama City Beach, Fla., the riptide began to carry Elliot's cousin dangerously far from the shore.
"After Tay got close to the bank [his cousin] said Tay turned around and came back and helped him and said after that, that's the last time he'd seen him," Waldrup said.
A headline from the former football star's glory days in the New Albany Gazette reads 'Tay-Riffic.'
"'Tay-riffic' because he made one last touchdown to save a friend," Waldrup said.
His family hopes that he can use the same strength and courage from the football field to battle his way through the ocean.
"I want to be able to just run to the beach and when I get there he's going to pop up," Stephanie Waldrup said.
The Waldrup's will continue to pray, and said no matter the outcome, they hope the Lord's will be done.
"The Lord said if you do the possible, God will do the impossible, I just asked the Lord to let him wind up on a little island or something like you see in the movies," Waldrup said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard continued to comb the beach for any signs of Elliot.