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9-year-old and her mother save Winter Haven man from drowning

Police said Crystal Horrocks and her daughter Kathleen were swimming in the pool when Kathleen noticed a 33-year-old man seeming to struggle in the deep end.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Winter Haven Police Department says a 33-year-old man is alive today thanks to the heroic actions of a 9-year-old girl and her mom.

The emotional rescue happened around 4 p.m. Friday at the Carlton Arms Apartment Complex pool.

Police said Crystal Horrocks and her daughter, Kathleen, were swimming in the pool when Kathleen noticed a man seeming to struggle in the deep end.

When the man stopped moving and sank to the bottom, Kathleen didn't hesitate to call out for her mom.

Crystal then jumped into the water, brought the man to the surface and lifted him out of the pool with the help of nearby neighbors.

Kathleen remembers thinking, "Is he going to be ok? Is he going to be alive? What do I do? Can I help?"


After Crystal performed two rounds of CPR, the man coughed up water and started to breathe. In fact, the man was sitting up and breathing on his own when first responders arrived a short time late. 

"I have to say it’s a miracle from God because he was down in there for a while," Crystal said.

He was transported to the hospital as a precaution but was released with no issues.

"The swift actions, first by this very alert young lady followed by the quick
response of her mother, saved this man's life," Winter Haven Public
Safety Director Charlie Bird said in a news release.

Winter Haven police said incidents like this serve as a reminder of the importance of water safety.

"Now is also a great time to learn CPR for those who don't know how to already. Check with the local Red Cross or Citizen CPR to find a class near you," the department wrote.

As for Kathleen, she hopes to continue these type of rescue efforts in the future. "When I grow up I’m going to be a lifeguard so I can help people if they drown or anything," Kathleen said.

You can learn more about how to perform CPR and where to get local training here.

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