At about 6:20 pm, I was having fun in the waves at Coronado's Central Beach. At the same time a man was getting dragged out of the water by four people, three males and one female. I ran out of the water to observe, rather than help, because three other females had already ran up to help perform CPR.
They started performing CPR, trying to get him conscious and breathing, from what I could tell. The four original people who dragged him out helped drag him further up the beach as the tide reached them. They did this once more, getting him onto the dry sand finally.
I wondered, as many others did, why no lifeguards had yet appeared. There were plenty of people waving their arms and shouting at this point, a few running all the way to the lifeguard tower. It took three to four minutes, after the man was pulled out of the water, to see a single lifeguard run out. That lifeguard quickly took over CPR. Two more lifeguards joined him as a couple more minutes passed. There was total of five lifeguards and three civilians by the time the lifeguard's car arrived.
The lifeguard's car brought out what I believe was a drowning kit; something to drag out the water from his lungs and another object I could not identify.
It was now about 6:30 pm and the paramedics had arrived. A woman and daughter brought his belongings over to them, recognizing the man who had sat next to them. He had come alone, according to the two. From there a paramedic searched his belongings, finding a cellphone and a set of keys in his pants' pockets.
The man at this point was said to have a "strong pulse" and was still breathing, but with difficulty. This continued for several minutes until they got him onto a police truck at about 6:40 pm. They drove him to the ambulance, parked on Ocean. He was still alive, the paramedics taking him to Sharp Coronado Hospital when I left at 6:47 pm.
I am very glad this man is alive and breathing. I don't have pictures of this event, but I assume they will be popping up soon.
The issue most of the witnesses, including me, have with this event is why weren't the lifeguards out sooner? Just over a week ago UT San Diego reported that a Coronado lifeguard was distracted for more that an hour and a half, talking to civilians. Did a similar distraction occur today? Was this a normal or abnormal reaction time? How can we increase reaction time of our lifeguards during an event like this?
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