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Good samaritans, police save drowning man at Michigan park

Bystanders on the dock of a Michigan park saved the life of a young man by jumping quickly in action.
Good samaritans, police save drowning man at Michigan park
Posted at 1:36 PM, Sep 25, 2023

A young man is alive today thanks to the quick actions of bystanders and local police officers in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Jamaine Atkins II had been swimming in Ann Arbor's Bandemer Park on July 27 when he slipped under the surface of the water and didn't resurface, police said Monday.

Bodycam footage and interviews shared on the Ann Arbor Police Department's Facebook page share the story from multiple points of view, including from bystander Margarita Howes, who said she heard someone calling for help after seeing bubbles appear in the water where Atkins had gone under.

Several good samaritans were able to pull the man out of the water onto the dock, police said, and Howes — a nursing student — started CPR. Then Officer Thomas Burnette and other responders took over compressions and rescue breath upon arrival.

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"A lot of times with calls like this, you hope [there's] some element that's not true, maybe by the time you get there the person is up walking around. That wasn't the case," said Thomas Burnette, an officer with the Ann Arbor Police Department.

Atkins was in critical condition when he was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for weeks. But "miraculously," the department said, he's now made a full recovery.

Atkins was later able to meet Howes and the other officers involved in his rescue at the fire department during a ceremony in which Burnette, Howes and other officers and responders were given "Life Saving Awards." Atkins thanked everyone for their help and said he was "really grateful to be alive."

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