Bryan Honors Teen Who Rescued Drowning Friend

From left, Gov. Albert Bryan poses for a photo with Saeed Phillips, AT&T representative Alexandria Veridailes, Phillips' brother Khaled Heywood and his mother Estica Ceasar. (Government House photo)
From left, Gov. Albert Bryan poses for a photo with Saeed Phillips, AT&T representative Alexandria Veridailes, Phillips’ brother Khaled Heywood and his mother Estica Ceasar. (Government House photo)

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. on Tuesday presented St. Croix teen Saeed Phillips with the Courageous Citizen Award for rescuing his friend from drowning after jumping off the Anne Abramson Pier in Frederiksted last month.

Bryan presented the award to Phillips during an assembly in the auditorium of the St. Croix Educational Complex attended by Phillips’ family, teachers, mentors, and the school’s junior class, of which Phillips is a member.

“Today we are here to celebrate a special hero,” Bryan said, according to a news release from Government House. “Saeed stands as a shining example for his peers, and we want to ensure that we recognize him for his actions. I am proud of his courage and his heroics, and I am honored to present him with the first-ever Courageous Citizen Award,” Bryan said.

Alexandria Veridailes, AT&T’s regional vice president for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, presented Phillips with an iPhone and AirPods, a wireless earphone system, at Tuesday’s presentation to replace the items he had lost when jumping off the pier to save his friend.

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Phillips had received the AirPods as a birthday present the day he assisted his friend who was struggling in the water, and had his phone and his new AirPods on his person when he jumped in the ocean.

Bryan also announced a paid summer internship for Phillips, an aspiring marine biologist, with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and announced that he would also name an upcoming swimming program designed to teach young Virgin Islanders to swim in honor of Phillips.

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