During the summer of 1987, I had a girlfriend with three boys, the oldest was 5 years old. If I thought long enough I could probably come up with his name, but that’s not important. Being like most 5 year olds he was quite active and amazing to spend my time with.
I was working many hours during that time and decided to take a day off, which allowed me time with my girlfriend and her kids for the day.
The boys with their mother would spend most of their summer days at whisky town lake west of Redding CA. There was a nice sandy beach with a tree line along the south side of the swimming area which allowed people to sit in the shade or sun along the beach area.
On the average weekday there would be 75 to 100 adults with their children.
As the kids were swimming, the parents were staying cool in the tree line, having an everyday party with wine coolers and such.
I was watching my girlfriend’s 5-year-old boy as he played with a friend he meet. They were not swimmers yet, but they were having fun bouncing around in the shallow water throwing a ball back and forth. Well as it goes with 5 year olds, they were testing each other by throwing the ball a little farther out, where the water was a little deeper and again just a little deeper. As they bounced around on their tippy toes on bottom, only dog paddle swimming but not really able to swim yet.
I watched as it happened, The one boy who was playing with my girlfriend’s boy, stepped into the deep, just a little to deep to bounce on his toes off the bottom and keep his head out of the water.
I jumped up and ran towards him down the beach, by the time I reached the water’s edge he had gone under two times, he was going under for the third time when I reached him in the water. I lifting him up and out of the water and carried him to shore.
He did not drowned, but was totally exhausted from the experience.
He would have drowned if I had not been there, watching, preparing to react to the situation as it occurred.
The first sign that anyone person on the beach had a clue this child was about to drowned, was when I cared him out of the water on to the beach, fully dressed and soaking wet.
After about five minutes of the little boy being comforted in his mother’s lap, he raised his head and told me thank you. I could see in his eyes that he knew, he was about to die and I saved him.
I guess it was the shock of the situation that caused me to do what I did next.
I walked up to the beach head where everyone on the beach could see me standing.
I proceeded to call out to everyone on the beach, that they were a bunch of losers and drunks, that partying was more important to them, than the lives of their children.
That’s the polite way of saying what I really said to the crowd that day. Not one person on the beach said a word, for they all knew what had just happened. I was mad and for good reason, I went to my vehicle and left, never to return again.
As I know, an angel placed me on that beach that morning to save that little boy.
Did my words fall on deaf ears? I don’t know?
The Timex watch I was wearing when this happened, did not survive. Jo