A local Boy Scout is trying to prevent drownings caused by strong rip currents as part of his Eagle Scout project.
The Eagle Scout award is the highest honor in Boy Scouts, and 14-year-old Samuel Silvas is almost there. To earn the award, each scout has to complete a complex project that gives back to the community. Silvas said many Boy Scouts choose a charity or helping out their church, but he wanted something else.
"He died from getting caught up in a rip current, he drowned, so when I saw that I knew that I was gonna put that as my Eagle Scout project," Silvas said.
It began a year ago when a young boy from Mansfield drowned on Padre Island. He got caught in a rip current and wasn't able to get out. From there, Silvas began drafting a plan for his project, making calls to City officials and designing signs that he would later hang up around Bob Hall Pier -- all at the age of 14.
On Monday, Silvas and his troop hung up the sturdy signs. They're designed to last. You'll see them screwed into pier supports, beach signs and pavillions on the beach. They have a graphic and directions on how to escape a rip current.
Silvas said he hopes beachgoers will read the signs and potentially save a life.
"I wanted my Eagle Scout project to mean something," Silvas added.
His mother, Robin Silvas, has helped him every step of the way for things like driving or making copies of the sign. Otherwise, Silvas has been on his own.
"It was very exciting to us that he chose this project to save lives," she said.
Now there's only a couple more tasks left before Silvas gets the award, a major milestone in his scouting career.
"Beneficiary has to sign off, that they've approved - that his project's complete and they're satisfied with his work, there's more steps in scouting, Eagle is the highest rank however he can receive more awards for staying in," Robin added.