Nelsonville lifeguard recognized for saving a child from drowning

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – The girl jumped in the pool without her swimmies, but she couldn’t swim. 

Ciara Dexter said she acted on instinct. 

“I just jumped in,” said Dexter, a lifeguard at the Nelsonville Aquatic Center. “That’s what my job is. I did my job, I did it right, and I made sure she was OK. And she was, she’s fine.

Nelsonville City Councilmember Nancy Sonick and lifeguard Ciara Dexter.
Nelsonville City Councilmember Nancy Sonick (left) presented lifeguard Ciara Dexter with a resolution in recognition of her life-saving action. [Alison Patton | WOUB]
The incident happened Saturday during the girl’s birthday party, Dexter said. With about 25 people, including children, it’s hard to keep track of everyone. 

“When you have a bunch of kids going around and around it’s difficult,” she said. “After your first year, you learn how to manage it pretty well and watch everyone.”

Dexter is a rising senior at Nelsonville York High School, and has been a lifeguard since last summer. She said this was her first time saving a person. 

“In a way, I’m kind of glad it’s out of the way,” she said. “So, now I know what to do.”

Nelsonville City Council passed a resolution to recognize Dexter’s heroic work on Monday, and Councilmember Nancy Sonick presented it to Dexter during her shift Tuesday. 

“We are so very proud of you, the whole city is proud of you,” Sonick said.