Glendale resident Ken Daniels is being hailed a hero after alerting lifeguards at the Skyline Sun and Swim Club in Flushing to an unconscious boy submerged in the pool.
Daniels, a retired advertising executive, was swimming across the width of the adult pool Thursday around noon, when he noticed what he thought was a towel at the bottom.
A quick-acting Daniels, who was the only person swimming in the deep end at the time, signaled a lifeguard who then brought the boy to the deck and began CPR.
“The lifeguard said if I hadn’t seen the boy within 30 seconds of when I notified him he would be dead. The boy was completely blue.”
One of the three lifeguards, Will, 18, who was involved in the rescue, declined to be photographed after being asked how the child could have been missed.
“That’s just being negative,” he said.
But Daniels said the save was a collaborative effort and that any credit he receives should be shared with the lifeguards.
He said that Will, who was off-duty at the time, dove into the water and Steve, 50, an experienced lifeguard, were instrumental in saving the boy.
“Steve never gave up,” Daniels said. “He performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He was pumping his chest and turning him over until the boy coughed up water. Then another lifeguard put oxygen on his mouth.”
EMS workers, who arrived minutes later, shook the child’s legs and asked him simple questions before he was taken away by ambulance.
The boy, estimated to be about 5, reportedly suffered cardiac arrest, but is doing well.
He was with the day camp from the Jack & Jill Nursery Schools in Flushing, which swims there.
When asked if the parents of the boy had contacted him, Daniels said he wasn’t sure they knew the full story.
“I never met the parents and I don’t know who told what to the parents. The parents were probably never told about me.”
But he said an upset counselor did approach him to express her gratitude for his assistance and to offer an explanation.
Daniels said the counselor explained that the boy had gotten away from her and that she only realized he had been missing after he was found.
According to Daniels, approximately 20 to 30 day campers were swimming in the shallow end of the adult pool, which goes from 3 to 5 feet.
Daniels joked that when campers and counselors were treated to pizza after the incident, they didn’t even save him a slice.
“But I’m just relieved that he’s okay. I really had trouble sleeping that night. I was afraid he wasn’t going to make it and I hoped that I had done enough,” he said.
Calls to the Jack & Jill Nursery School and the Skyline Sun and Swim Club were not returned.