WOODBURY, N.Y. - It's hard for Vincent Zhang to remember exactly what happened. The 4-year-old was swimming at the Syosset-Woodbury Community Park Pool earlier this month when suddenly he started sinking.
It was only about a minute from the time lifeguards pulled him out of the water to when he regained consciousness but they told us it felt like forever.
"I blew three whistles," lifeguard Gianna Magrino said. "He slipped right under. My heart started racing."
But thanks to quick thinking and combined efforts, the ending was a happy one.
"We put him on the backboard and took him out," lifeguard Capt. Ryan Harrison said.
Vincent is OK. He was smiling when he returned to the pool on Tuesday with his family. The lifeguards and EMTs who responded received citations for their true lifesaving skills.
"This could've turned into a horrible nightmare but because of the work of our highly skilled lifeguards, our firefighters and EMTs, Vincent is alive today," Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joe Saladino said.
The lifeguards, who train all summer, always hope to never have to put their skills to use.
"It feels really good to be out here and just do good for our community," lifeguard Tim Nelson said.
Vincent, who promised to be more careful next time, shared a short but poignant message: "Thank you."