SANDPOINT — The City Beach lifeguard staff was slated to receive "Lifesaving Awards" during Wednesday's City Council meeting for saving the life of a man who nearly drown recently.
But that honor was postponed after another near-drowning Wednesday, about the same time the meeting came to order.
"We had another unfortunate incident at City Beach, and once again the lifeguards performed another heroic feat," said Mayor Shelby Rognstad.
A man in his early 20s dove into the water on the side of the beach near Trinity Cafe, said Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon. He didn't realize how shallow the water was and hit his head, knocking him unconscious. He was dragged out of the water and CPR was performed. Coon said he was gaining consciousness as he was transported to Bonner General Health.
The man was then Life Flighted to another hospital for neck injuries.
Six City Beach lifeguard staff also sprung into action June 9 as well, when another man in his early 20s nearly drowned.
Although most of the lifeguards were supposed to receive the city's "Lifesaving Award" Wednesday, one young man was honored Monday. William "Davis" Crook, 17, the lifeguard who pulled the July 9 victim from the lake, was presented separately with his "Lifesaving Award" by Rognstad, Coon and Parks and Recreation Director Kim Woodruff.
"The city of Sandpoint would like to extend their appreciation and a heartfelt thank you for your service and dedication to the Parks and Recreation Department and to your community," stated the letter to Crook, signed by the three presenters. "We are honored to present to you with this Lifesaving Award for your heroic actions on July 9, 2017 in which a citizen’s life was saved because you chose to make a difference."
Bonner County EMS added, "Highest compliments and kudos to the lifeguard crew on duty at City Beach in Sandpoint this afternoon. Their response and treatment of a patient involved in a serious water emergency today was calm, practiced, coordinated and highly professional in all regards. There is no question that their actions were directly responsible for saving a life. They should be very proud of themselves and everyone in Bonner County can be confident in the training and abilities of this impressive group of young rescue professionals."
"Davis demonstrated professionalism, precision in his life saving skills, and is a key member of the City Beach lifeguard team,” Woodruff said.
Crook was on lifeguard duty when he was alerted by a swimmer there was a person on the bottom on the lake. Davis swam to where the man was and dove down and saw that the man was on the bottom of the lake face down. Davis performed a submerged passive victim save and towed him to shore. While bringing him on shore, Davis found no pulse and no breathing. CPR was administered and the victim was transported to BGH.
Coon said the man is having a difficult time remembering what happened, but from what emergency personnel can gather, he was swimming out into the lake and got tired. When he was coming back, he ended up taking some water into his lungs and passed out.
"It's really hard to confirm it, because the gentleman in that situation doesn't remember a whole lot," Coon said.
The man has since been released from the hospital. Coon, who went and checked on him at his home, said the man is still having some chest pains related to the near-drowning, as well as the CPR, but otherwise is doing well.
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