Mississippi man drowns after saving cousin from drowning

NEW ALBANY, MS - (WMC-TV) – The body of a Mid-South man who rescued his cousin from the ocean washed up in Florida overnight.

Tay Elliot, 24, was from New Albany, Mississippi. He was lost at sea for more than 24-hours, but now his family has closure. Wednesday morning Tay Elliot's family got the phone call. His body had been found along the shoreline in Panama City Florida.

"Once you have a better understanding about God and His ways that just makes things a little easier to deal with," said his father LeRoy Waldrup.

His family says the former high school football star was a force to be reckoned with on the field. Elliot fought with the same determination to save his cousin from a powerful riptide on a vacation with friends.

"He always said if the line blocked for him he would do his job and the lord sent a way to block for him and he did his job once again," Waldrup said.

His family says the cousin he saved is on his way back home to New Albany, and they know how bad he feels. But his father says he's proud that his son could sacrifice to save such a close friend and family member.

"The boy he saved, his daddy was my friend, and I said 'Don't keep apologizing for something like that, it's just something that happened,' " said Waldrup.

Elliot will be brought back to New Albany for his funeral, but arrangements have not yet been made.

The family wants to thank the community for the outpouring of support.

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