A teenage boy was pulled from Lake Meridian at approximately 5:30 p.m. Friday after another swimmer alerted lifeguards that the teen had not surfaced on his own, the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority reported.
According to the lifeguards who staff the park’s swimming area, a swimmer wearing a flotation device began yelling for help from the area inside the dock at the park. When the lifeguards investigated, they were told by the swimmer that he was yelling for help because another swimmer had disappeared under water next to him.
Lifeguards immediately began searching the area for the missing swimmer. Other lifeguards began clearing the water of other swimmers, calling 911 and bringing rescue equipment.
Using a human chain to search the five to 9-foot deep water, the lifeguards and a civilian who was assisting them found the teen and brought him to shore, Puget Sound Fire said. CPR was initiated and an automatic external defibrillator attached to his chest. The lifeguards continued their treatment until firefighters and paramedics arrived and took over.
After continuing to work on the patient for several minutes, rescuers were able to regain a pulse. The patient was then transported to a fire station where a helicopter from Airlift Northwest flew him to a local hospital.
The patient’s family members were at the beach with him.
“Listening to them recount their actions, it was very clear that they did exactly what they needed and were trained to do,” said Fire and Police Chaplain and Crisis Counselor Pat Ellis, who interviewed the lifeguards. “It’s because of these young women and men that the firefighters and paramedics had a chance to save this young man.”
Due to privacy laws, no further information on this patient’s medical condition will be released by Puget Sound Fire.