An Air Force veteran and pilot died after attempting to save two kids from drowning at a beach along the Florida Panhandle on Saturday.

Michael Robidoux saw two kids struggling in rough surf at Navarre Beach and jumped in to try and save them, Fox News reported. The current proved too strong, though.

Navarre Fire Chief Danny Fureigh said Robidoux got "caught in an undertow" as he swam out to the struggling kids, according to WEAR TV. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened just after 6 p.m, the local ABC affiliate reported.

Sheriff's officials also said two surfers eventually managed to rescue the children. A team from the sheriff's office proceeded to search for Robidoux, according to Fox News.

When they found him, he was pulled to shore and deputies performed CPR.

Robidoux was deemed critically injured, and he was airlifted to a local hospital, where he later died.

"He died as he lived — a hero," Robidoux's cousin, Annette, told Fox News. She added that he was “a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.”

Robidoux was also an Eagle Scout and worked as a pilot for Delta Airlines, according to Fox News.

Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.

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