Special Agent Christopher Martin, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 217, saved an eight-year-old boy from drowning at a youth football team pool party in Marana, Ariz., June 2.
Martin was poolside talking with his wife and daughter, scanning the pool for his other children, when he noticed something was motionless under the water.
“I didn’t really know what it was,” Martin said. “I got up and started walking towards the edge of the pool. I walked probably 35-40 meters when I realized that it was a child, a brother of one of my son’s friends. I thought to myself, ‘This kid is just holding his breath, playing with his friends,’ because there were a couple of kids about 10-15 feet from him.”
This was not the case; the child wasn’t moving, and Martin came to the realization that he needed to jump in to save him.
“When I got him to the top, the lifeguard had arrived and we both checked his pulse,” Martin said. “He had a pulse, but wasn’t breathing. During that time, another mother came over and asked how she could help.”
They found the child had no open airway. The mother assisting literally took matters into her own hands.
“She opened up his mouth with her fingers,” Martin said. “It was just enough for him to get his airway open, because about 45 seconds later he began breathing again.”
The child had been underwater for approximately four minutes before Martin noticed him.
“The mother was with a three and four-year-old, while the father was talking to another father,” Martin said. “The father must’ve taken his eyes off his children for five minutes or so just walking around the pool. I guess that was just enough time.”
“I think we’ll keep in contact,” Martin said. “His brother and my son are on the same football team. I know they start playing again in August, so I’m sure we’ll see them then. The father has informed me that his son was released from the hospital, and that he’s doing okay. I believe we’ll stay in contact, not just because of this but because we had a relationship prior.”