A young swimmer took on more than he could handle last Thursday, when his casual swim in Lake Huron turned into a serious water rescue by city firefighter/paramedics. Just after 9 pm last Thursday, City of Alpena Fire was dispatched to Thomson Beach for a water rescue involving a young swimmer. Firefighter/paramedic Chris Stephens was one of the first responders on scene that night.
“A younger gentleman swam out toward the Shamrock Buoy out there. About three–quarters of the way out he got tired, and didn’t realize how far out he was,” recalls Stephens.
The young man began to wave his arms and call for help, which fortunately caught the attention of beachgoers who called 9-1-1. Before emergency responders got to the scene a young couple assisted the stranded boy, giving him a floatie to hang onto while he waited to be rescued.
City Fire arrived to the scene with a rescue swimmer and a boat, and was able to pick up the young man and bring him safely back to shore. After this incident, Firefighter Chris Stephens says its worth reminding people how to stay safe on the water.
“Just know your limits. If you’re going to swim out, swim with a buddy, he was alone so that could’ve turned worse if there wasn’t people on shore to hear,” Stephens says.
For long distance swims, always make sure to have a buddy, and remember to bring a floating device in case you need a break while swimming in the water.