In the tragedy of Harvey’s floods, heroes from all over the region emerged to rescue people from flooded homes and to provide safety and a hot meal. As survivors flooded social media with posts about the amazing volunteers who were carrying the city forward (sometimes literally), one man in particular caught the attention of the ladies.
As he snapped selfies of his rescue efforts, the photos started to go viral, accompanied by the tag #RescueBae.
The man behind the photos is Raz Halili.
Halili and his cousin Gezim took a boat and jet ski out into the floodwaters to rescue stranded storm survivors, traveling to Port Arthur, Dickinson and Friendswood to help people in need.
While many assumed that he was with the Cajun Navy, he’s actually from Kemah. Since he runs his family’s oyster business Prestige Oysters in San Leon, TX, he knows his way around a boat.
The son of an Albanian immigrant, Halili said he acted out of thanks for the life his family has found in America.
Port Arthur resident Ariel Marie was one of the women who helped make Halili’s go viral. When she first saw his photo, sent to her by a friend, she knew she needed to see more.
“One of my friends was letting me know that she got rescued from a fine Cajun Navy guy. And she said she has a picture of him. I said, ‘Girl. You have to send me the picture,'” Marie told abc13.
Since taking his boat into the floodwaters, Halili has found himself labeled both a hero and a heartthrob.