Boy, 12, nearly drowns at Island Lake Park

A 12-year-old boy nearly drowned at Island Lake Park on Monday afternoon. The quick actions of bystanders, including another young boy, are what authorities say saved his life.

The boy did not know how to swim, according to Kitsap County Sherrif's reports.

A 911 came in at 3:07 p.m. from a child reporting a possible drowning that had taken place near the small dock on the lake. Jeffery L. Hentz was found partially submerged in the water near the fishing dock, facedown in the weeds.

"At the time of the 911 report, no one was able to ascertain how long the 12 year old had been under water," said Kitsap County Sheriff's Office Deputy Spokesman Scott Wilson.

Wilson said Hentz was pulled from the water and CPR performed by a young bystander continued until Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue medics arrived. Medics reported the boy was in full cardiac arrest upon arrival, Wilson said.

Medics arrived at Island Lake Park at 3:13 p.m. and started treating the victim one minute later. KCSO officers arrived at 3:15 p.m.

Hentz had been visiting the park with his grandfather, according to Wilson. KCSO documents state that the grandfather, Richard Boggess, told a deputy the pair came to the lake to go fishing. Once his grandson saw others playing in the water, he wanted to join in.

Boggess sat on the dock as his grandson played in the water and went under the dock. He did not see his grandson for about 30 minutes.

A swimmer had overheard Boggess and Hentz talking about how the boy could not swim and needed to be aware of the water depth. According to the KCSO documents, Dori Leckner of Kitsap County Parks Department told authorities that the bottom "dramatically drops off below the fishing dock."

In the past, the department had posted "No Swimming" signs at the dock, but the signs usually get damaged or go missing, the report states.

"The rapid intervention with those on scene with CPR, that was the singular action that was able to keep the circulation of blood going," said Wilson. A nurse on site helped with the CPR after she was able to locate the carotid pulse.

Wilson said Hentz was taken to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton and placed on a respirator and was set to be transported to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma by late afternoon or early evening. He was listed in critical condition at 9 p.m. on Monday evening when the reporting deputy called the hospital.

A spokesperson from Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue would not comment on the boy's condition or the situation surrounding the near drowning.


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