Water rescue survivor revisits scene with WLOX

According to the Moss Point Police Department, Corion Evans helped rescue the three girls and responding Officer Gary Mercer from the water.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - One survivor from the heroic water rescue in Jackson County revisited the scene on Wednesday, recounting the moments she escaped a sinking car.

Cora Watson, 19, said she was sitting in the back seat when she and her two friends drove off the I-10 boat launch into the Pascagoula River.

“It’s no lights down here or nothing, so everything was just pitch black,” she told WLOX. “The GPS thought we was on top of the interstate. That’s why it was telling us to go straight because it did not say it was water here or nothing.”

According to the Moss Point Police Department, the vehicle traveled about 20 feet from shore before sinking.

The three teenage girls climbed out of the passenger window.

“I automatically went straight down,” Watson said. “I still had my phone, like, trying to keep it above water.”

On the line, she said, was 911 working to track her location. But she did not know how to swim.

“I see my friends. They on shore. But it’s like, I’m the only one, I was the only one, like, left in the water,” she said, crying.

Brothers Karon and Caleb Bradley jumped in, along with 16-year-old Corion Evans.

“I heard Cora screaming, ‘Help’. Like, she looking like she was fixing to, like, she was, I thought she was done,” Caleb said. “We had no choice but to help.”

“My first reaction, all I knew was get in the water,” Karon said. “It was like, if you weren’t gone get in the water, you would just watch them die or something like that.”

Watson said she bobbed up and down in the water, fighting to catch a breath.

“If I inhale one more bit of water, I’m going to die,” Watson said. “Like, I just knew I was. I knew my last breath was coming. And so, I just let my phone down...My mind already said, like, you’re slowly losing yourself.”

According to authorities, Evans helped remove the three girls and responding Officer Gary Mercer from the water.

“When I tell you, right before my last dying breath underwater, that was gone be my last time going underwater, Corion had grabbed me,” Watson said, sobbing.

Mayor Billy Knight recognized Evans and Officer Mercer Tuesday night for their bravery. He presented both with certificates of commendation.

“I was right there looking at it, so I couldn’t just watch nobody die, even when I seen the police officer,” Evans said. “I couldn’t just sit there and watch nobody die.”

Watson is recovering from the experience, but she told WLOX she feels blessed to be a survivor.

“I can’t walk into no dark room that’s pitch black because I automatically go back straight into the water,” she said. “Through random times, I just start hearing the water. I start hearing the bridge.”

The Moss Point Police Department has not responded to any of our news team’s requests for an interview.

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