On Sunday, a Florida youth baseball game got caught up in a frightening weather event when a child at home plate appeared to get caught in a “dust devil,” Fox News reported.
During a game at Jacksonville’s Fort Caroline Athletic Association baseball field, the mini-dust devil formed at home plate engulfing Ponte Vedra Sharks catcher, 7-year-old Bauer Zoya.
As the boy was surrounded by the spiraling vortex of dust, the home plate umpire, Aidan Wiles, 17, came to the rescue, shielding Zoya and pulling him out of the swirling dust.
In video footage of the incident, a spectator is heard telling Wiles, “You saved his life.”
Zoya later told New 4 Jax on Monday that while he only stood in the dust vortex for a few seconds, it felt as if he had been out there for ten minutes. He said he was holding his breath as he felt his feet being lifted slightly off the ground. “I was scared,” Zoya told News 4.
Despite the frightening moment, Zoya returned to the game once his father poured water on his face to wash the dirt from his eyes.
Aidan Wiles told News 4 that he was taught that the safety of the players always comes first.
His father Brian Zoya praised Aidan Wiles, telling News 4 that it was “special to see” a young man with the “presence of mind” to step in the way he did. Brian said Wiles must have “great parents raising him.”
A dust devil is a dust-filled vortex that typically forms on hot, sunny days with light winds, according to Fox Weather. The vortex, which is created by surface heating, usually lasts just a few minutes before dissipating.