HENDERSON — A woman was saved from drowning Tuesday at Southwick Beach State Park by her boyfriend and a group of strangers working together.
A woman, her son and her boyfriend were swimming together on the camping side of the beach at Southwick. It appears at some point the undertow caught the woman and carried her out to deep water. She was struggling for two to three minutes before her boyfriend was able to help her. He then made sure her son was safe while a group of strangers on the beach carried the woman to shore.
Waiting at shore was Liz Rogers, another person who didn’t know the rescued woman. Ms. Rogers said she is certified in CPR and gave a few directions, like place her on her side and have her take deep breaths.
“She was conscious the whole time,” Ms. Rogers said. “She was throwing up some water.”
Andrew Lennox, a paramedic and chief of EMS with the Belleville Fire Department, showed up shortly after the lifeguards at the park arrived. He said the lifeguards were pivotal in helping the woman out of the water as well. Mr. Lennox said the woman mentioned she and her family had been swimming for a while before the undertow suddenly took her out to where she couldn’t stand in the water.
If someone is caught in an undertow, he said not to swim against it, but to swim across it and take a diagonal path toward shore.
The woman was carried off the beach by first responders and taken to a hospital. Her current condition was unclear at the time of this report. She was in distress yet responsive on the beach, Mr. Lennox said.
“I am thankful she made it out OK,” Mr. Lennox said. “It was a better outcome than we’ve had in the last few weeks there.”