An 11-year-old Minnesota boy is credited with saving the life of a drowning neighbor, even as at least nine other adults stood around and did nothing to help, CNN is reporting.
Advaik Nandikotkur was enjoying a day of swimming with his family at the indoor pool at their suburban St. Paul apartment complex. At some point, the family and the other pool users noticed that one swimmer had succumbed to the water. He was in the deep end, where the water was approximately eight feet deep, unconscious and floating with his arms stretched out.
Advaik’s mother, Lalitha Mareddy, started asking for help from the several adult men who were there at the pool that day, but all protested that they couldn’t swim.
The one person at the pool that day who could swim – and who had taken swimming lessons just recently – was an 11-year-old boy who probably weighed a half or less of what the victim did. And Advaik admits he was hesitant at first.
“He’s probably too heavy for me.”
Still, Mareddy knew that Advaik had the skills – at least on paper – to save a drowning man. After all, he’d learned about water rescue in his swimming lessons, and he’d even demonstrated that he had the mechanics down.
“I saw him go to the bottom of the pool and collect rings and come up. That just flashed in my mind. If he can go get three things while controlling his breath…”
— CNN Heroes (@CNNHeroes) January 4, 2019
Fortunately, Advaik’s training kicked in, and soon enough, he’d jumped into the water, grabbed the drowning man by the wrist, and pulled him to the surface, where the adults were able to handle things from there. Advaik’s uncle, Suseel Kumar Nandikotkur, performed what he thought was CPR – he admits he’d never taken a class but just imitated what he’d seen in TV and movies – but nevertheless, within a few minutes the victim was coughing, gurgling, and moving.
Fortunately, by that time an ambulance had arrived, and the 34-year-old man was taken to the hospital. He has since made a full recovery.
Eagan, Minnesota, Police Officer Aaron Machtemes said that in his entire career, he’s never seen anything like this.
“I’ve never heard of a boy jumping in and saving an adult from a pool. Officers on the scene commented the man was very lucky to be alive.”
Advaik, for his part, seems to be actively hating all of the attention the whole thing has gotten him. When the man came to his family’s home to thank him and gift him with a $50 gift card, the boy politely shook his hand then quickly found a reason to leave the room, saying he didn’t want to be around all that “grown-up talk.”