RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A teenager in Rio Rancho has done something many of us will never do in our lifetime. She saved not one, but two lives.
The pool at Club Rio Rancho is a special place for many. Kids cherish their summers here swimming and soaking in the sun.
This pool has been a part of Haylee Rivera’s life for ten years. This is where she learned to swim, and now the 16-year-old Rio Rancho High School student is a lifeguard here.
“It’s nice just to be able to save people’s lives and watch out for kids and make sure everyone’s safe,” she said.
On Memorial Day, Haylee had to race to the rescue.
“Definitely, the scariest thing I experienced,” said Haylee.
A boy, about 5-years old, jumped off the diving board in the crowded pool and the water was too much for him to handle.
“His best friend tried to save him in the pool, so they’re both struggling,” she said.
Haylee realized this was not horseplay and that the two boys were in danger of drowning.
“I put them to the side, got them both out, and asked them if they are OK,” Haylee said.
She filled out an accident report. Fortunately, she had gotten to the boys in plenty of time.
“They probably swallowed some water, but they weren’t anywhere near needing CPR or anything like that,” she said.
Corey Lucero, marketing director and pool manager for Club Rio Rancho said, “She’s a superstar. We are happy to have her. She contributes so much to our lifeguarding team.”
Haylee loves her job and won’t soon forget her double rescue.
“It was just like an adrenaline rush. It made me realize my job is really important and that if there weren’t lifeguards, people couldn’t be saved,” she said.
“We tip our hats to her, and she really is one of those, she hides her cape well,” Lucero said.
Drowning can occur in just seconds, but it doesn’t always involve dramatic splashing. People can drown without a struggle or a sound.
This is Haylee’s second year as a lifeguard.