Local lifesavers recognized for Anastasia Island rescue

St Johns County Fire Rescue Marine Rescue personnel were recently recognized by the United States Lifesaving Association and the Florida Beach Chief’s Association with the “Meritorious Act Award” for their efforts last summer in the surf rescue of a beach patron.

The awards were presented at ceremonies in Melbourne Beach, FL on March 9th 2014.

On June 15, 2013, a father and son were enjoying a day at the beach in Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine Beach. At some point, the father was overtaken by a wave, slammed into the bottom and did not resurface. The son immediately recognized a problem, held onto his father and signaled the lifeguard for assistance.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue Lifeguard Dylan Droege was manning a tower at Anastasia State Park during this time, saw the son waiving and immediately communicated to Fire Rescue Communications a rescue was in progress. Droege reached the patient in less than 15 seconds, recognized he was unresponsive and began carrying him back to shore.

Moments later, Lifeguard Josh Clingerman arrived and assisted in transporting the patient to dry land. Once on the beach, Marine Rescue Zone Supervisor Eric Jones declared he was unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse. Jones called a cardiac arrest and CPR was initiated including the placement of an AED.

Additional personnel arrived and assisted in treatment and packaging, ultimately removing the patient from the beach to rendezvous with St. Augustine Fire Department and St. Johns County Fire Rescue paramedics. The patient regained a pulse en-route to Flagler Hospital and has since made a full recovery.

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