Emergency workers in Barrie are praising the work of some young lifeguards who used their training on Thursday to save a man from the water at Barrie’s Centennial Beach.

Barrie Police say around 4 p.m., two men who had been drinking got into trouble beyond the buoy line at the beach.

“He went beyond the buoy line about 15 feet, he started to become a little bit of distressed swimmer, then struggled even more on his way back to shore,” says Robin Rankin with the City of Barrie.

Lifeguards called for him to come back but he quickly slipped beneath the water and sank to the bottom of Kempenfelt Bay.

One lifeguard went out on a surfboard, another dove in with a mask and retrieved the man, police say. He was brought to shore and police say he was not breathing at that time.

“They pulled him up, he was unconscious and non-breathing and upon bringing him into the shore started to resuscitate him and upon shore they were able to apply the AED pads and perform CPR,” adds Rankin.

The man had no pulse and no vital signs. A bystander who knew CPR also stopped to help, the group performed CPR for five minutes before paramedics got to the scene. The team was able to revive the man.

Julia Young-Williams was one of the paramedics on scene Thursday night. She said there’s no question, the lifeguards and the Good Samaritan deserve all the credit.

“That ultimately did save the gentleman’s life. He didn’t have a pulse when they pulled him out so getting that CPR started right away and getting the blood circulation through the body and getting oxygen back to his heart and his brain really is what would have save this gentleman’s life,” added Young-Williams.