Fil-Am airman drowns off Texas coast after rescuing 2 young cousins

Published May 11, 2021, 10:09 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

The body of a 22-year-old Filipino-American airman who went missing Sunday was found by his family on Tuesday, May 4.

Elijah Posana, a member of the US Air Force, was last seen alive swimming in the waters off Surfside Beach near Freeport, Texas, on Sunday, before he was caught by a rip current about 100 feet from shore, the US Coast Guard said in a statement.


The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call at around 7 a.m. Tuesday saying Posana had been found just north of where he disappeared.

“The family, on the beach yesterday shortly after daylight, 7 a.m., they found the body of Mr. Posana,” Varon Snelgrove, Chief Deputy of the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, said in a report from NBC News on Wednesday.

Posana reportedly jumped into the water to rescue his two younger cousins after they started struggling in the water.

“It washed up onto our county beach about 3 miles north from where he had gone in the water, which is consistent with the way the wind and the current were going,” he added.

The Coast Guard on May 3 announced it suspended looking for Posana after a 28-hour search.

“The decision to suspend a search is always an extremely difficult one to make,” Coast Guard Capt. Jason Smith said in a statement.

Snelgrove, meanwhile, said the death of Posana appears to be a drowning and no foul play is suspected.

The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine Posana’s cause and manner of death, he added.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help with Posana’s memorial expenses.

“Elijah is the laughter and sunshine of our family, his smile is infectious and he brings laughter everywhere he goes…” the page wrote. “Elijah is a hero, to our family and our country. He has served us, now it is our turn to serve him.”