SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A man and his young daughter were healthy and resting at home Thursday after nearly drowning in a pool in San Jose on Thursday night.
Police and firefighters called the man who rescued the family a hero, but he said he does not feel his actions were extraordinary and that he was simply helping his friends, a spokeswoman for the fire department said.
“He says they’re his friends and anybody would have done the same thing,” fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said. But, she added, “Had he not been there, they would not be here today.”
Gutierrez said the man has declined interviews with the media because he is still processing the incident and is spending time with the family.
She said the father and his 6-year-old daughter have been released from the hospital and are doing well.
The events of Thursday night unfolded around 8:55 p.m. at a housing complex in the area of Bollinger Road and Miller Avenue.
A man in his early 40s was swimming in a pool with his daughter on his shoulders, but at some point, some residents relaxing in the community’s hot tub about 25 feet away noticed that their voices had fallen silent, fire Capt. Rob Brown said.
The friend leapt into action and ran over to the pool, where he saw two shadowy figures at the bottom of the pool’s deep end and dove into the water. The man pulled the young girl out and then the father while someone called 911.
As the rescuer was administering CPR to the man, another resident, identified as Jeffrey Bale, jumped over a fence and ran over to the pool area to help revive the little girl.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
Within seconds the unconscious man and girl began to come around, even before paramedics arrived, Gutierrez said.
“It’s an amazing feat to do that—to go down and grab a full-size man, knowing how to get him to the surface,” she said.
Gutierrez said the fire department responds to a near-drowning or drowning accident at least once a month. She said she hopes the incident encourages residents to take a CPR class in case they find themselves in a similar life-or-death situation.
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