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July 29, 2016

Wash. bystander saves man from river, performs CPR

By Andy Matarrese
The Columbian

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A bystander at Daybreak Park dove into the East Fork of the Lewis River to retrieve a young man pulled underwater Thursday evening, and other bystanders gave him CPR, likely saving his life, Clark County Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy said.

The man — whom Dawdy said is around 18 years old — was out with family and in the river at around 8 p.m. when he disappeared.

Dawdy said family members on shore told officials that he seemed to have been under for several minutes, when another man, with goggles and flippers, dove into the river to find him.

The man was successful, and was able to pull him onto the shore. There, Dawdy said, other bystanders called 911 and began administering CPR.

“They were able to revive him at the scene,” Dawdy said.

Medics from Fire District 3 and Clark County Fire & Rescue responded, “finding a very, very disoriented, but revived, young man.”

An ambulance took the young man to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

“We think he has every chance of surviving,” Dawdy said.

Dawdy commended the good Samaritans’ efforts.

“This could have been a tragedy and we’re really grateful when good citizens step up and do CPR like this,” he said. He encouraged others to contact their local fire districts to learn about where they can get CPR training as well.

“This is another case where CPR saves lives,” he said.

He added that even strong swimmers need to remember to use a life jacket. In Clark County, people are far more likely to die from a drowning than in a fire, he said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2016 The Columbian