(WVUE) - A St. Augustine graduate died trying to save a friend as they were swept off a rock in Hawaii.
Caleb Collins' family and friends call him a hero. On Saturday, the 2011 graduate was hiking with other service members near a famous blowhole on the shoreline when a powerful wave hit.
"Our reports are that they were standing on the shoreline, taking pictures, when a large wave came in and knocked one of them off," Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Geoffrey Chang said. "The second person tried to help his buddy, and he was taken off the rocks by the second wave."
Searchers recovered their bodies Sunday. Both victims were stationed at the Army's Schofield Barracks in Honolulu.
A family spokesman described Caleb an "excellent soldier" and an encouragement to all he came in contact with.
A third man was also knocked off the rocks, but he managed to make it back to shore.