Vancouver woman helps rescue eight children from drowning
Saturday, September 15, 2012
A Vancouver woman attending a family reunion took part in the rescue of eight children in a mass near-drowning at Hagg Lake on Saturday afternoon, according to a bulletin from emergency officials in Gaston, Ore.
Michelle Rushing of Vancouver and other family members rushed to assist the children, ages 6 to 13, after they stepped off a steep drop-off formed by the channel of Sain Creek.
The family worked together to pull the children out of the water and pass them up hand-to-hand to shore, the bulletin said.
They believed that all the children were accounted for until the rescued children yelled there was one more, and Michelle Rushing stepped on a child at the bottom of the lake.
Rushing and her nephew, Eric MacLean of Hillsboro, Ore., pulled that child to safety, as well.
The rescuers said two of the children were not breathing when pulled to shore. Several members of the family know CPR and were prepared to perform it, but both children began breathing again on their own before crews from the Gaston Rural Fire District, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Metro West Ambulance arrived.
All eight children were transported by ambulance to local hospitals. Their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Other members of Rushing's family who took part in the rescue were Evan Gibson of Hillsboro and siblings April MacLean and her husband, Lorne, of Hillsboro; and Laura Kirby of Virginia.