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Man describes how he saved 3 boys from drowning

June 13, 2008

Three young boys nearly drowned Monday afternoon before a stranger pulled them from a Phoenix pool.

Kent Archer, a resident of the townhome complex near 28th Street and Osborn Road, said he's no hero but is thankful he was in the right place at the right time to save the boys.

"They were there and not breathing. Somebody had to do something," Archer said.

Archer had taken his 8-year-old daughter and her friend to the complex's large, L-shape pool. Archer said he was sunning on a lounge chair near the shallow end of the pool when he heard a woman scream. Archer said he saw a small boy floating facedown. After Archer jumped into the pool, he saw the other two boys facedown in the water. After getting the three boys, ages 2, 3, and 4, out of the water, Archer performed CPR on the 3-year-old. The 2-year-old had started breathing on his own. "I started doing mouth to mouth on the second child, pushing on his chest, blowing into his mouth and nose," Archer said. "He coughed up a lot of water."

Archer said he hadn't taken a CPR class in years and wasn't sure if he was doing it right. The boys' father was there when Archer started CPR on the 4-year-old.

"He appeared to be dead," Archer said. "His eyes were open but he wasn't there. I was doing CPR and screaming at him, 'Wake up! Wake up!' "

Phoenix fire officials said the two brothers and their cousin were breathing and alert when they were transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital. The youngest two were released that evening, and the 4-year-old stayed overnight.

"In a two-minute window it went from the most terrifying experience to the best thing when those boys started breathing," Archer said.

Archer said he's going to suggest that the townhome association provide a CPR class for residents.

Phoenix fire officials said the boys' father and another adult were in the deep end of the pool and did not have eye contact with the boys.

No charges have been filed against the parents, said Detective Reuben Gonzales of the Phoenix Police Department.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Sadie Jo Smokey
Copyright 2008 Arizona Republic

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