‘It wasn’t a big deal’

Sgt. Cobbs and Phillip H. Ray.
Sgt. Cobbs and Phillip H. Ray.

CCSO sergeant saves Lake resident during Isaias

Sgt. John Cobbs is known for being a modest man – so much so, he didn’t tell his supervisor about saving an 86-year-old man’s life during Hurricane Isaias.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” Sgt. Cobbs said. “It was just the right thing to do.”

The sheriff’s office reported that Cobbs was on patrol at Lake Waccamaw looking for hurricane damage and road hazards on Tuesday, after the hurricane blew through the area. He was patrolling Waccamaw Shores Road, the sheriff’s office reported.

Sgt. Cobbs and Phillip H. Ray.
Sgt. Cobbs and Phillip H. Ray.

Phillip Henry Ray, 86, was outside his residence in the 3000 block of Waccamaw Shores, trying to repair his mailbox while Cobbs was in the area. Ray was wearing foul weather gear including rain boots.  Ray’s neighbor, Bruce Walters, was outside mowing his lawn.  

Ray had completed repairing his mailbox and was preparing to go back inside when he dropped his tools into a ditch that was flowing with about three feet of water. Ray also fell into the ditch, face first – and his rain boots quickly filled with water, weighing him down.   “He was unable to get up unassisted,” Sheriff Jody Greene said in a press release. “He was face first in dirty ditch water, and in a desperate situation.”

Walters witnessed Ray fall, and immediately drove his lawnmower over to assist him.  Sgt. Cobbs also saw Ray fall.

Cobbs immediately stopped his patrol vehicle and rushed to help, lifting Ray from the ditch.  After making sure he was okay, Walters and Cobbs assisted Ray back to his residence.  

“Sgt. Cobbs, being the humble person he is, did not tell anyone about the incident,” Greene said. 

A person involved contacted Cobbs’ supervisor, Lt. Worley, to thank him.  Worley was unaware of the incident, and contacted Cobbs.  

On Aug. 6, Worley and Cobbs traveled to Ray’s residence to check on him and make sure he was okay.  

“They met with Ray and his sweet wife,” Greene said. “She was overcome with emotions as she thanked Sgt. Cobbs for saving her husband.”

When Worley asked Sgt. Cobbs why he didn’t advise him of the incident, Cobbs called the event “ no big deal.

“I would have done the same thing even if I wasn’t on duty,” the sergeant said. 

About Jefferson Weaver 1954 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].


  1. It was a big deal to Mr. Ray and Wife for sure. God bless our Law Enforcement personnel.

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