15-year-old lifeguard rescues 5th-grader at Lexington pool

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — A 15-year-old lifeguard at Southside Pool in Lexington followed her training and pulled a young boy from the water Sunday evening.

During a swim test, paddling across water 12 to 13 feet deep, a young swimmer started to slow down.

“He got in the middle and he couldn’t do it any more and he gave the dead stare,” said Leah Morrison, a Southside Pool lifeguard.

When Morrison locked in on the boy from the lifeguard stand she didn’t hesitate.

“I just hurried and jumped in and then I had to wrap him around, like take my arms so that way he’s locked in and then paddle back to the side to let him take a breath,” Morrison said.

The young boy was unharmed. Stevie Hedrick, a Southside Pool board member, says Morrison responded exactly how their lifeguards are trained to do.

The rescue happened during Morrison’s first week on the job.

“What happened Sunday night was a fantastic job from a new beginner. She did a fantastic job,” Hedrick said.

The swim test the boy was in the process of completing is required at Southside Pool if you want to swim in the deep end, no matter your age.

The pool requires swimmers to swim laps three times and then tread water for one minute. If you don’t pass the first time, you are able to try again.

“We did not say, ‘Oh you didn’t do well.’ No you don’t do that to anybody, because they might come back and want to do a swim test again and we will let them do the test again,” Hedrick said.

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