Stuart beachgoers save swimmer from drowning

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

STUART, FL (WFLX) - Beachgoers jump in to help save a swimmer from drowning. They pulled him out, called 9-1-1, and started CPR until lifeguards could get there to take over. They tell us it should never get as desperate as it did Sunday near Stuart Beach; that there are too few lifeguards, and they are too far away.

"He was spewing out water and foaming at the mouth. It was pretty scary," described Kristen Gouldner.

Not what beachgoers were expecting while celebrating Father's Day on Hutchinson Island. They didn't believe someone was drowning at first. "We heard him. At the time, he was floating, and doing a back stroke. Nobody believed him."

But a young man actually was drowning in shallow water. It's believed he had some sort of seizure.

Bystanders pulled him out of the water, and a beachgoer started CPR. Kristen Gouldner called 911. But, she says, it took a little while for lifeguards to get there. "It took longer than it should have. That's for sure."

Lifeguard Daniel Lund watches the beaches at Stuart Park. This happened just south of his lifeguard watch area. He and his crew got their as fast as they could. He, too, wishes there were more lifeguards. "We've had a tremendous increase in the people, but no increase in staff."

Lund and his crew were able to get the man breathing again. The victim, we're told, was taken to the hospital breathing but in critical condition. We don't know of any plans to put more lifeguards on that beach.