Boy nearly drowns at beach in Ocean View

Posted at 9:47 PM, May 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-27 19:55:51-04

Norfolk, Va. - John Robinson, a Navy vet with three decades of experience acting quickly, saved a boy's life on Memorial Day.

"He didn't look good, just pale, kind of, eyes were white, yellow, he wasn't breathing," Robinson told NewsChannel 3 less than an hour after he pulled the boy out of the Chesapeake Bay.

He hadn't used his CPR training since he was in his 20s, and adds it had been at least 10 years since his last training class.

Robinson was the only one nearby who knew CPR when the boy needed it most.

"He was dead when he was in my hands," Robinson said.

Witnesses say the boy, who was between 7 and 9 years old, was swimming in the Ocean View water just east of the HRBT late Monday afternoon.

"All the sudden it seemed like they weren't playing around, his buddy came in and he was still out there and it looked like he was struggling," Ray Nails said.

Nails helped two other men carry the boy out of the water, then handed him over to Robinson who rushed in to give CPR.

It took more than four minutes before finally the boy started breathing again.

"We turned him sideways and choking up water and he started slowly breathing on his own," Robinson said.

"That was great just to know he's not to, his Memorial day is not going to be ruined for his family completely," Nails said.

The boy remains in the hospital recovering. A family member tells NewsChannel 3 that the boy's mother wants Robinson and the others who helped him to know how grateful she is.