Off-duty Coast Guardsman, hotel staff save life of drowning boy

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
APRA HARBOR, Guam — An off-duty Coast Guardsman helped staff attendants at a hotel pool save the life of an 11-year old Japanese boy, Thursday.

14th Coast Guard District Command Master Chief Christopher Windnagle, a guest at the hotel while visiting on official business, was talking with pool staff when one of the attendants noticed a young boy having difficulty in the water. The attendant grabbed the child from the water and immediately took him to Windnagle who began rescue breathing.

He proceeded to revive the boy just before Guam Fire and Rescue crews arrived on scene to continue life support and transport the child to the hospital. The child has reported to be alert and responding.

Windnagle had mentioned in conversation to the attendants throughout his week-long stay at the hotel that he was in the Coast Guard. He also had volunteer firefighter training during a tour in Kodiak, Alaska.

“Everyone at the pool wanted to help,” said Windnagle. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the knowledge to help. I thank my Coast Guard training and my experience as a volunteer firefighter. The attendant who initially spotted the drowning child and pulled him out of the water was the true hero.”

Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, the 14th Coast Guard district commander, praised Windnagle’s quick actions, which ultimately helped save the boy’s life.

“Master Chief epitomizes the Coast Guard’s commitment and legacy to saving lives,” said Thomas. “We are all hoping the boy has a speedy recovery.”

Windnagle reported to the 14th Coast Guard District in July and was conducting unit visits with Thomas.

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