HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Michael Wood became a lifeguard at the end of May.
“It is a big responsibility,” the 15-year-old acknowledged.
Last Saturday, the Henrico teen learned just how important his role is at Raintree Swim & Racquet Club.
Wood watched as a little boy walked to the edge of the diving board then jumped into the 11-foot deep pool.
“He starts swimming like this and he has his eyes closed,” recalled Wood, “And he gets to about half way towards the little rope over there and he yells help.”
It was the last thing the new lifeguard wanted to hear. But he didn’t hesitate.
Wood explained to 8News, “I just thought in my mind did he just say help? And then he yells it a second a time and so I jumped off of the stand and onto the concrete and then I jumped in there and got him and brought him to the wall.”
The teen saved the little boy’s life.
“All I wanted to do was get him to the wall and make sure he’s safe and stuff. That’s the only thought that went through my mind mostly,” added Wood.
Lifeguard Zachary Akin says his co-worker did everything perfectly, “He jumped off correctly. He got the kid out of the water. Made sure he was okay. It was perfect.”
The child’s parents thanked their unexpected hero repeatedly.
People at the pool applauded him. But Wood insists he just did what lifeguard’s do.
“You’ve got to pay attention and it’s hard. It is,” he says, “But it’s really rewarding in the end.”