AUGUSTA, Maine — The combined efforts of bystanders along the Kennebec River saved the life of a 2-year-old from Augusta found unresponsive in the river near the East Side Boat Landing on Friday evening.
Witnesses on Front Street, along the west side of the river, saw a small child in the water across the river at about 6 p.m. and at first thought he was playing in the water, according to a news release from Maj. Jared Mills of the Augusta Police Department.
They soon realized he was drowning and began yelling across the river, trying to catch the attention of someone at the playground. A man playing with this children ran to the river bank, jumped in the water, grabbed the child and swam back to shore, according to the release.
The child was unresponsive, so the man began chest compressions until the child began to expel water from his lungs. Augusta fire and rescue personnel soon arrived and took over lifesaving care. The child remained responsive until they took him to a local hospital.
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Police are not releasing the names of the child and his family. They are investigating circumstances surrounding the incident to determine whether any crime was committed, according to Mills.
“It appears the child could have been unattended by an adult at the time,” Mills said Saturday in an email.