Near drowning at Chickamauga Dam - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Near drowning at Chickamauga Dam

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HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB)-- Three swimmers are being called heroes Saturday afternoon, after pulling a young man from Chickamauga Lake.

Thanks to their quick thinking the man survived.

Samuel Carr and Monica McClure say they'd planned to spend a quiet afternoon at the lake with their families, but when they heard screams the strangers immediately started working together to find a drowning man.

"We were swimming," says Carr.  "Me and my boys were on the buoy rail.  A guy about 20 feet from us was yelling that his buddy was drowning."

"We were swimming and they were screaming that somebody was drowning.  At first we didn't believe him," says McClure.

But the screams of two Hispanic males in broken English continued, and that's when Samuel Carr started diving. 

"I started diving, looking for him.  I couldn't find him after five or eight attempts," he says.

Meanwhile Monica McClure, who speaks Spanish, acted as a translator between the 911 dispatcher and the man's friends.

"They needed to know his age and his name.  His friends didn't know his age but said he was in his early twenties," she says.

Within minutes Carr came up for air after a dive and kicked something in the water.

"I came up to get a breath and actually kicked him with my leg," he says.  "I went back under and jerked him out." 

"He was struggling so I went over there to help him," says McClure.  "We pull him out of the water.  He looked horrible, his face was purple.  I almost cried." 

McClure and Carr were relieved when the man began coughing even before emergency responders arrived.

"They intubated him. He was spitting up water," says McClure.  "He had a pulse, but he wasn't breathing on his own." 

After the victim was rushed to the hospital Carr says he and his sons decided to stay at the lake a little longer.

"I'm still trying to calm down that got my adrenaline going," he says.  "We're just trying to relax and carry on with our day.  I hope that guy is going to be okay."

McClure says the experience has made her think harder about the things she takes for granted.

"If anybody knows him we just want to know if he's okay.  We really do," says McClure.

Witnesses say the victim had been floating on a yellow raft when he went under water, he didn't resurface until he was pulled from the water.

He was rushed to Erlanger.  His condition is unknown.

 

 

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