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Umpire pulls child out of dust devil during youth baseball game: 'You saved his life'

A youth baseball game in Florida on Sunday was the subject of a scary weather event when a dust devil formed on home plate and a child appeared to get caught up in it.

The incident occurred at Fort Caroline Athletic Association baseball field in Jacksonville. The dust devil formed right at home plate, and a 7-year-old child, identified as Zoya, was wrapped up in it. The umpire, 17-year-old Aidan Wiles, came to the child’s rescue and was able to pull him out and shield him.

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a dust devil forms

A dust devil forms at home plate during a youth baseball game in Jacksonville, Florida. (Ben Watkins/SPORTS REPORT+ /TMX)

In the video, a spectator can be heard saying, “you saved his life.”

“I was scared and I got afraid if someone would pull me out,” Zoya told News 4 Jax on Monday.

The child said he felt like he was in there for 10 minutes, though only a few seconds passed.

“I couldn’t breathe that much,” he told the station. “So I held my breath and I feel like I couldn’t touch the ground. So I kind of lifted up a little bit.”

The umpire saves the child

A child gets caught up in the dust devil. (Ben Watkins/SPORTS REPORT+ /TMX)

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Zoya proved to be a hard-nosed competitor as the incident did not keep him from playing. His dad came over to him, poured water on his face to get the dirt out of his eyes and he was good to go.

“A kid that just had the presence in mind to just do that it’s just special to see,” Zoya’s father, Brian, said. “It was pretty cool to see yesterday. He had great parents raising him.”

A dust devil forms at home plate

The umpire shields the child from the dust devil. (Ben Watkins/SPORTS REPORT+ /TMX)

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According to FOX Weather, “dust devils usually form on sunny, hot days with light winds. The dust-filled vortices are created by surface heating and typically only last a few minutes before dissipating.”

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