On Saturday afternoon, June 13th, Kennydale resident Jessica Valdez was floating on her stand-up paddleboard about 100 feet north of the Kennydale Beach swimming area when she heard cries for help coming from the open water outside of the designated swimming area. A closer look revealed a boy who was clearly in distress, about 30 feet west of the logs that surround the swimming area. Apparently the boy had attempted to swim with friends out to the buoy that sits about 100 yards west of the swimming area; at some point during this venture he became exhausted and unable to continue.
Jessica immediately realized that she was in the best position to render assistance, and paddled at full speed, covering the 100 foot distance to the flailing youth in about a minute. On her way, she noticed two other girls who were attempting to assist, but with the cold water and no flotation devices, they were putting themselves at risk. Upon arriving at the youth’s position, Jessica observed that he was totally exhausted, so she assisted him onto the board while assuring him that he would be all right in order to calm him down. She then took him back through the swimming area to the beach.
During all of this, Jessica noticed that, other than the two girls, nobody else had attempted to render assistance. Maybe they didn’t hear the youth’s calls for help due to the noise of the swimming area? Maybe they thought the boy was kidding? Or maybe they just didn’t want to “get involved” ?
Parents, please make sure that your kids understand this: It’s a real bad idea to go outside of the swimming area at any time, and especially so early in the swimming season when the water is cold. Once outside the log boom, you can also be hit by a boat, and it would be the swimmer’s fault. The recent hot weather has encouraged a lot of people to use this swimming area before the lifeguards come on duty at the start of summer vacation....so be cautious and don’t make bad choices!
Jessica Valdez assisting an exhausted swimmer
near Kennydale Beach. (Photo courtesy of Denis Law)
KNA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Kennydale and fostering community spirit.