Just days after turning 22 and wedding his Bible college sweetheart, Dalton Cottrell, an Iowa pastor-in-training, drowned tragically while on his honeymoon in Florida on Tuesday.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office told the Florida Times-Union that Cottrell, who was a Pastoral Training major at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa, was pulled out of the surf at Crescent Beach, south of Jacksonville, about 1 p.m. by a lifeguard and a beachgoer.
The beachgoer reported hearing someone yelling in the surf and then grabbing his paddleboard to head into the water. He, along with a St. Johns County lifeguard, placed Cottrell onto the paddleboard and returned to the beach. They tried to revive the pastor-in-training using CPR, but it wasn’t enough to keep him alive.
His wife, Cheyenne Pernice-Hedrick, who is also 22, told deputies that it was her husband’s first time in the ocean. They were both in the water when the current pulled them out deeper and he “started to freak out.”
Cheyenne said she tried to help her husband who she wed on Saturday, but he was struggling and pulled her underwater.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday she shared how her short-lived “bliss” turned into a “nightmare.”
“[Three] days of wedded bliss turned into a nightmare very quickly for the Cottrell family as well as mine own. Many of you know but more of you do not; so the family and I decided to put the awful news here on Facebook though this is not where I wish to place it or even have to say it,” she began.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair