Advertisement

'So glad he was there': 18-year-old hailed a hero after saving elderly man from drowning

Tyler Mitchell never thought a weekend of fun floating on the Illinois River would end with him saving someone’s life.

Advertisement

Tyler Mitchell never thought a weekend of fun floating on the Illinois River would end with him saving someone’s life.

“We saw Crocs, his hat and then his sunglasses float up to the surface,” Mitchell said. “When we first saw him, he was blue.”

Pulling the elderly man to the bank, Mitchell said he wasn’t breathing. So, the 18-year-old began doing CPR and instructed a firefighter who assisted in the rescue to manage his airway before an ambulance could get the man to a hospital.

“When he first started breathing, I felt like, ‘OK, he’s doing good,’” Mitchell said. “The Explore Program behind us, they’ve taught me pretty much everything I needed to know from CPR to going scuba diving and rappelling.”

“I was so glad he was there at that time,” Mitchell’s mother, Ronda Dean, said.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department presented Mitchell with a certificate, saying the man likely would have died if it wasn't for him.