Life saving award

Brandon Riekers, middle, received a Lifeguard Lifesaving Award for preventing a possible drowning at the RCP. He was recognized by Rockport Mayor Pat Rios, left, and Rockport Director of Parks and Leisure Services Rick Martinez.

Junior Lifeguard Brandon Riekers was recognized Tuesday, Aug. 6 for saving the life of a young swimmer at the Rockport Community Pool (RCP).

Rockport Mayor Pat Rios normally recognizes events such as this at Rockport City Council meetings. However, because Riekers is from another town and would not be present for the next meeting, Rios held a special ceremony for him.

The rescue took place Wednesday, July 17 at the RCP.

Riekers was volunteering at the RCP as an extra set of eyes under the supervision of Head Lifeguard Allison Sanders and Lifeguard Chase Rios.

Riekers observed a young male swimmer enter the water from the diving board and attempted to swim to the side. The swimmer began to struggle after making it past two lane lengths of water. Riekers saw the swimmer begin to bob up and down in the water and was no longer making progress to get to the side of the pool.

Riekers took action and activated the Emergency Action Plan and signaled to Sanders of the situation. Sanders complied with Riekers and authorized him to make the save of the distressed swimmer. He entered the water with a rescue tube and performed a save using technique and training from the Red Cross Lifeguard program. Riekers reached the young swimmer and brought him to the side and out of the pool. Sanders supervised the situation, making sure the distressed swimmer was fine. He was deemed safe and did not need further medical attention.

Sanders and Supervisory Lifeguard Cory Marr commended Riekers for his observance, action, professionalism and determination that prevented a possible drowning.

Junior lifeguards have donated more than 50 hours to the Rockport Community Pool this summer at critical, peak times when regular employees are heavily tasked due to patron volume, situational assignments and other circumstances. They have also been certified at the RCP under the instruction of staff and have met the same standards, requirements and testing as employed, certified lifeguards.

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