A mom on vacation to Tampa Bay says a stranger saved her son's life. The seven-year-old boy was drowning when an off-duty Haines City firefighter jumped in to help.

Firefighter Brenn Hines is used to springing into action and running toward danger, but he didn't know he'd have to do that on his day off at Anna Maria Island Tuesday.

“I heard her saying, ‘help, help, help,’ and then I said, ‘are you serious?’” he said. “I didn't know if it was people horse playing or what was going on.”

He quickly realized a rip current was pulling a little boy out to sea, and the boy was struggling to swim. The boy's mom couldn't get to him. Brenn was the only other person around, so he went in to help.

“The seven year old was actually floating further and further out, so I put him on my back, like I said, and swam with the mother to the shore,” Brenn explained.

The mom, Khara Green, is back home in Texas with her son Austin. On FaceTime, she said if it weren’t for Brenn, Austin could’ve drowned.

“It just seems like God brought both of us there at the right place at the right time for a reason,” she said.

Khara tells 10News her son now has someone to look up to.

“I would first just express my gratitude and appreciation,” she said. “He was truly a hero.”

Brenn agrees there’s no way this was just a coincidence. He was supposed to go into work that day, but his boss gave him the day off at the last minute. However, he doesn’t see himself as a hero.

“I don't like the term hero,” he said. “I believe a lot of my brothers for the Haines City Fire Department or anybody in that position would've done the same thing.”

Either way, Khara's just thankful he was willing to answer the call even when he was off the clock. She said she plans to keep in touch with Brenn.