Three young men from Central Oregon went to Puerto Rico for vacation in November. They came back as heroes after they revived another vacationer who nearly drowned.
“They said he was probably unconscious for 3-5 minutes. His entire body was just blue,” Sunriver Police Department seasonal bike patrol officer Logan Buckley said. “It was scary, I’m not going to lie. Having someone’s life in front of you like that, where you don’t know if they’re gonna make it or not.”
Buckley, 20, Haydon Hossick, 18, and their friend were vacationing on the Caribbean island last year when nearby commotion drew their attention.
“Dozens of people, lined on the beach, just standing still like statues. They were in shock,” Buckley said.
A man named Luis, who was visiting from Colombia, was dragged out of the ocean, unresponsive, discolored with no pulse. Buckley and Hossick say he was clinically dead.
“With drowning victims, drowning is usually silent. You’re not gonna hear it. It’s not like the movies. They’re not gonna be flailing around, screaming for help and slowly sinking into the water. It happens within seconds,” Hossick, a volunteer for Bend Fire & Rescue, said.
When the two realized what was happening, they sprang into action, switching off performing CPR chest compressions until Luis came back to life.
“I only got maybe around 8 or 10 in before he started fully coughing up water and some sand and some other stuff out of his mouth. I immediately stopped doing chest compressions, saw that he had a stronger, steady pulse and that the color in his face was returning,” Hossick said.
They saved Luis’ life, using the training they learned while working with Sunriver Police Department and volunteering with Bend Fire and Rescue.
“He started to wake back up and eventually tried to sit up and stand up and was confused about what was happening. We told him what had happened and he called me an angel, which I think was a bit more credit where credit was due but it was really heartwarming that he said that,” Hossick said.
Paramedics arrived shortly later and Luis was medically cleared. The two say he started smoking a cigar on the beach just minutes after getting his second chance at life.
Buckley says he and Luis still keep in contact over email. Buckley says Luis is happy and healthy, living with his family in Colombia, where he loves taking his granddaughter to soccer matches.