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Man who helped rescue child from drowning shares his story, boy’s father says thank you

Posted at 10:03 PM, Jun 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-09 00:03:50-04

SALT LAKE CITY, – A 7-year-old boy playing in a pool nearly drowned, and it was the alert actions of strangers that may have saved the child’s life.

FOX 13 News covered the story the day it occurred, and later we spoke with the man who came to the child’s assistance. James Keate was at a pool at an apartment complex near 845 W. Meadow Brook Expressway May 31 when he saw a boy in trouble.

"I thought he may just be playing dead, cause I used to do that when I was a little kid,” he said.

The boy was not playing dead, and Keate pulled the boy from the pool.

"At first, he was like throwing up a little bit and spitting out a little bit of water, but he looked like he was, you know, just playing around in the water, and then he was like rolling over, and like his eyes were like really wide open and stuff, and I was like, that's kinda crazy how his eyes are so open with all this chlorine,” he said.

A man began performing CPR on the boy after Keate pulled the child from the water. They thought the boy was gone, but Keate’s friend Paul McMullen wasn’t ready to give up.

"That's when my roommate came over and just kept doing it and doing it and doing it until the little boy started throwing up water and spitting out water and stuff,” Keate said.

Keate’s girlfriend, Aubrey Marriott, said they were glad to learn the boy was recovering.

"I had to ask [the paramedics], you know, ‘What's going on with him? Is he alive?’ and they said, ‘Yeah he's breathing, and he's doing well,’ so I went and told James and he was so happy."

As FOX 13 News was interviewing Keate, the father of the child who nearly drowned stopped by to express his gratitude.

Father: “Only you were there to save my son, and I appreciate it.”

Keate: "and I'm so happy to hear he's OK, I was so worried.”

Father: "I appreciate it, you're an angel man."