Originally created 07/11/00

Lifeguard: a serious job

It was a terrifying day at the Aiken County recreation center's Graniteville pool recently when two unidentified teen-age rowdies pushed a frightened 6-year-old into the water and then fled.

Little Kevin Parker was on a field trip with the Old Storm Branch Baptist Church at the crowded pool when he was being picked on and then pushed by the older boys. He couldn't swim, and there are accusations that no one reacted immediately.

However, the story has a happy ending.

Alert lifeguard Amy Beatty saw the boy at the bottom of the pool, dove in and saved his life. Brian Sanders of the Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department hails Beatty and the rest of his staff as "heroes" for saving Kevin's life. "The bottom line is that this child is walking around," he says.

This scary incident is a reminder that pools can be fun but also dangerous. Lifeguarding, as demonstrated by Amy Beatty, is serious business - and older teen-agers and adults must be especially vigilant when it comes to the little ones at a swimming area.

The fact that we live in times when amoral punks think nothing of hurting or killing others should make us especially cautious. Let's hope that, in the case of the teen-agers who almost killed Kevin Parker, they are discovered, arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


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