Saved: Letter thanking Minnesota lifeguard for child's rescue goes viral


The efforts of a young lifeguard who leaped into action and saved a child from drowning are getting national attention.

The incident happened last Thursday at Lake Elmo Park Reserve in Washington County, and was witnessed by Amy Zellmer, a Minnesota blogger, photographer and business coach.

She shared her dramatic eyewitness account with a letter to the unnamed female lifeguard, published by Huffington Post.

“Dear Lifeguard, I don't know your name, and I'm guessing that you are about high school age," Zellmer wrote. "I witnessed you in action yesterday as you saved a little boy from drowning at Lake Elmo beach. I want you to know how proud I am of you and your efforts. I know it's your ‘job’ but it's also your worst fear. No one can ever have enough training to prepare you for what this moment will actually feel like, but because of you, this little boy is home playing with his family today.”

The little boy briefly lost consciousness while he was being pulled out of the water. Zellmer called 911 while the lifeguard began compressions on the child.

“I personally have never witnessed anything like that,” Zellmer told FOX 9.

Zellmer recalled how the dramatic rescue that she witnessed from the shore seemed to unfold in slow motion. She praised the lifeguard for spotting the boy's struggle and remaining calm and composed during the rescue.

"You were alert and aware of what was going on in the water, responsible for watching what I'm guessing was a couple hundred kids at the time," Zellmer wrote. "I'm not sure if this is your first rescue or not -- it doesn't matter. What you did was heroic, and I applaud you."

Zellmer's open letter has now been shared and read thousands of times. It acknowledges – and expresses gratitude for – the responsibility assumed by all lifeguards overseeing pools and beaches.

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