FFBC student drowns on Honeymoon

Iowa newlywed, 22, drowns on honeymoon during first-ever time in ocean, just 3 days after wedding

A 22-year-old Iowa man tragically drowned Tuesday during his Florida honeymoon, just three days after he and his bride said, "I do."

Newlyweds Dalton and Cheyenne Cottrell, who wed in Missouri on July 27, were visiting Crescent Beach in St. Augustine when the two went for a swim in the Atlantic, in what marked Dalton's first-ever time in the ocean, NBC News reports.

The pair was carried out into the ocean by a strong current when Dalton began to "freak out," Cheyenne told deputies with the St. John's County Sheriff's Office.

Cheyenne said she tried to help her struggling husband but added that in his panicked state, he kept dragging her under the swell with him. Eventually, Dalton slipped below the surface and remained underwater for about a minute before help arrived, his wife told police.

A beachgoer who witnessed the drowning told deputies he heard screams coming from the ocean and grabbed his paddleboard to help, according to the Florida-Times Union.

The good Samaritan teamed up with a St. Johns County lifeguard to bring Dalton back to shore on the board. Rescuers performed CPR on the victim, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Cheyenne took to Facebook following the tragedy to share the news with her friends.

"3 days of wedded bliss turned into a nightmare very quickly," she wrote. "Yesterday afternoon while at the beach the Lord decided to call my husband Dalton to come home to Him."

"There is so much fear and uncertainty coursing through myself," she added. "Never did I think at 22 would I be a wife and then a widow so quickly."

Cheyenne and Dalton recently completed their junior years at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, a private Christian college and seminary in Ankeny, Iowa, where Dalton was studying to become a pastor, NBC Newsreports.

A statement from the school said the community was "devastated" by news of the student's death.

"I would like to encourage Eagle Nation to pray for, love, and support both Cheyenne and Dalton’s family," school president Dr. Jim Tillotson added. "It is moments like this that Eagle Nation means the most. May we do all we can to support all of them through this difficult time."

A GoFundMe campaign to help Cheyenne cover the cost of Dalton's funeral has already surpassed its $20,000 goal.

"While we know that he is now with the Lord, Cheyenne is left in the position of now paying for a funeral 3 days after paying for a wedding" the page reads. "Please prayerfully considered giving to Cheyenne as she goes through this time of preparation to bury her brand new husband, and keep the family in your prayers."

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Craig Toliver's picture

https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-costs-for-dalton-cottrell

On July 25, 2019 Dalton Cottrell turned 22 years old. He took his finacee, Cheyenne, to his family home in Iowa to celebrate and prepare for the upcoming marriage.

On July 27, 2019, we got to witness the beautiful celebration of what the Lord had done in their lives, both separately and together, at their marriage ceremony. Never were there two more beautiful, deserving people, and the future was bright.

On July 30, 2019, Dalton was overpowered by an unexpected riptide off the shore of St. Augustine, Florida, and was sadly drowned. While we know that he is now with the Lord, Cheyenne is left in the position of now paying for a funeral 3 days after paying for a wedding. Our hearts are so broken for Cheyenne and all family members involved.

Please prayerfully considered giving to Cheyenne as she goes through this time of preparation to bury her brand new husband, and keep the family in your prayers.

Craig Toliver's picture

Iowa reporting: Iowa man drowns while on honeymoon in Florida

t happened in the late afternoon at a beach near St. Augustine, Florida, when authorities were called to a swimmer in distress.

When authorities got to the scene, they saw paramedics loading Dalton Cottrell, 22, into the back of a truck to be taken to an ambulance, according to a press release.

Cottrell's wife told police she and her husband were on their honeymoon. She said it was his first time in the water.

They were in the ocean together when current pulled them in deeper.

"Cheyenne advised he began to struggle and she attempted to assist him but was unable to help due to him pulling her under," police said in a statement. "She advised at one point after him being under the water for approximately for a minute he came back up, and his eyes were rolled in the back of his head.

A nearby surfer told police he heard Cottrell yelling in the ocean, and grabbed his paddleboard to help. At that point, the witness got the attention of a lifeguard who performed CPR.

Cottrell, of Malcom, Iowa, was pronounced dead at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine.

FFBC Statement

The Faith community was devastated by the news of the passing of one of our students, Dalton Cottrell, Tuesday evening, July 30, 2019. Dalton was on his honeymoon in Florida with his bride and fellow Faith student, Cheyenne (Pernice-Hedrick), when he passed away in a drowning accident.

Dalton and Cheyenne were just married this past Saturday, July 27, at Eagle Heights Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. They were swimming near Crescent Beach on the northeast coast of Florida when a current pulled him out into deep waters. Lifeguards were there but were unable to save him.

Dalton was from Malcom, Iowa, and was a Pastoral Training major. He was a junior class representative for the Student Association, and he and Cheyenne had recently completed their junior years at Faith.

There will be a time of prayer and memorial at Fellowship Baptist Church (1503 SE 6th Street, Des Moines, IA), Dalton and Cheyenne’s local church, at 7:00 p.m. tonight with Pastor Dan Vance. All are welcome to attend.

Statement from the young widow

3 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.
Yesterday afternoon while at the beach the Lord decided to call my husband Dalton to come home to Him. There is so much fear and uncertainty coursing through myself. My parents came down early this morning to be with me as I begin the next journey. Never did I think at 22 would I be a wife and then a widow so quickly. Please pray for I and all families as we grief. Right now there is no details for a funeral, but we will know more in the next several days.
I love you so much Dalton Cottrell

Dave White's picture

https://youtu.be/w8eIcPDlHJY

My personal experience: I was pulled out in one at Hilton Head. The key is NOT to panic and rather focusing on floating with the current. 

After arriving at "the destination" (about 100 yards or so out [you will likely be in deep water]), must crawl stroke back in outside of the riptide zone. Upon arriving back to the beach, you may find yourself 1/4 mile down the beach (and tired)