LATHROP, Calif. (KTXL) — Two San Joaquin County deputies are thankful they were in the right place at the right time after they saved an at-risk child from a lake in Lathrop.
“It was just a me reacting type of thing,” Deputy Caela Lewis said.
“The call for service, everything happens so quick.” Deputy Aaron Silva said.
A call for a missing, autistic, non-verbal child went out around 8 p.m. Shortly after, a similar call arrived for a person having trouble swimming in the River Islands Lake.
Silva and Lewis arrived at the same time.
“Once we get there, we do notice that the clothing that was described for the juvenile matched and that the juvenile in the water was in fact a boy and was the one that we’re looking for,” Silva recalled.
Around the rim of the lake, it’s only about a foot deep, but about 20 feet into the lake, the depth really drops off. Deputies said they found a child treading water in the area of the lake where the bottom of the water can’t be seen.
“I started running to where the water was, and I saw a juvenile on the water that was treading water. I can only see his head above water,” Lewis said.
Without knowing how long the at-risk child had been in the water, the deputies wasted no time.
“We just kind of gave each other a look and both went to the water to go and assist the juvenile that was in the water,” Lewis said.
Teamwork gave the deputies the quick thought to ditch their gear and jump in the water without hesitation or discussion. They then swam out to the middle of the cold lake to rescue the 11-year-old, whose name is not being released.
Once they had him, they swam back to shore where his mom was waiting.
“Oh, she was thankful. She’s thankful,” Silva said.
“Ever since I was little this is something I’ve always wanted to do. So, granted having a call like this is something that was totally new to me. It definitely, I don’t wanna say it made me feel good, but it made me feel happy that was in the right place at the right time,” Lewis said.
“This is one of the highlights of my career. It’s something it’s started out as a normal day. And it’s just another call for service. You don’t really know what you’re gonna get when you get dispatched to something, and you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. But this one turned out the best way good,” Silva said.