Oyster Bay lifeguards praised for saving infant from drowning

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Oyster Bay town officials praised two lifeguards Tuesday credited with saving an infant's life after he was found face down in a town pool. 

The incident occurred around 4:45 p.m. Thursday at the Syosset-Woodbury Community Pool. 

Lifeguard Andres Martinez was stationed at the shallow pool when he says a mother walked to the pool with her 17-month-old son. He says the boy was sitting in the water. 

After turning his head for no more than 10 seconds to tell other children to stop running, Martinez says the mother had apparently walked away and left the child unattended. He says the child was face down in the water. 

"I ran into the pool, picked him up, turned him around…He had a pulse but he wasn't breathing," said Martinez. 

Lifeguard captain Bryan Rhoades says he called 911 almost immediately. Rhoades began giving the child chest compressions.  He says the child coughed up water and then began to cry and breath normally again.

"Their actions, their quick thinking, their tremendous training and their abilities to get the job done saved the life of a 17-month-old child," said Town Supervisor Joe Saladino. 

Experts say it can sometimes be difficult to spot someone drowning, especially when dealing with toddlers and infants. They say sometimes what drowning really looks like isn't anything like what you would expect.

"They have no flight or fight reaction. It's like having an empty water bottle. If you put it underwater, it fills up right away," said Rhoades. 

For privacy purposes, Child Protective Services officials say they will not confirm or deny if they are investigating the incident.

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