Brothers on jet ski rescue 15 people from Waverly floodwaters

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Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 10:20:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two brothers rescued 15 people and at least six dogs during the Saturday flooding in Waverly.

Mark and Brian Bohanon raced into action, launching a jet ski into the fast moving waters off Brown Street and Sutton Avenue in the city.

Their goal was to rescue their aunt who was trapped in her home on Sutton Avenue. However, it became much more when they realized so many people were trapped.

"[I] was able to pull up beside the house," said Mark. "[Brian] took a hammer, knocked out the glass and we made contact with her at that point. Pretty much the mattress was almost hitting the ceiling."

After bringing their aunt back to dry land, the pair returned after seeing a man clinging to a tree. They threw him a rope and dragged him towards the jet ski and shore.

The need became more apparent the more people the Bohanon's rescued. They rescued a mother and her nurse daughter. The first part of that rescue was caught on camera.

They even rescued an entire family.

"They had knocked a hole in the eve of the house and it was, I believe, a 4-year-old, a 6-year-old girl, the mother and then a, probably, 13-15-year-old boy inside the house," said Mark. "We were able to get out of the current again and we both stayed on. They brought the two young girls out to us and you could tell they were pretty traumatized."

The pair didn't stop for what they think is an hour, but it's hard for them to remember due to all of the adrenaline they were feeling.

"Essentially we proceeded until the water started to recede so the folks who were in houses the safest thing for all of us was to wait for the water level to fall," said Brian.

It wasn't an easy job, though. The pair had to fix the wiring in the jet ski before it would even start that day. They had no gas and had to use gas from a chainsaw. Then, they rolled the jet ski twice. Luckily, they had life jackets on. They even ran over a car twice with the jet ski trying to rescue people.

"The good Lord giving us the ability to work together, because we haven't had any training at all. We went into the compassion mode is what I would call it," said Mark.

The two don't want to be seen as heroes. However, they were helping the neighborhood clean up after the damage was done.