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Luzerne County man saves boy from drowning in South Carolina

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA (WBRE/WYOU) -- It's the video everyone's talking about on national news and social media, showing the dramatic rescue of a 12-year-old boy trapped underwater in a hotel pool for nearly eight minutes.

As it turns out, the off-duty corrections officer who helped save him lives here in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Shaun Skursky was on vacation with his family last month in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Luzerne County man, who works as a corrections officer near Philadelphia, said it's a trip he won't ever forget.

Surveillance video shows two kids playing in a lazy river at Avista Resort.  Police said one of the boys lifted a safety grate, and somehow his leg got stuck in a filter pipe, trapping the 12-year-old underwater.  His friend tries to pull him out, but can't and yells for help.

Skursky, a corrections officer from Luzerne County, came to the rescue.  The father of two leaps into the pool, working against the clock to save the child's life.  He even manages to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation underwater.
 
"I just thought he needed some kind of oxygen," said Skursky.  "I went underwater and I started trying to breathe for him!"

Police officers arrived on scene, and together, they were finally able to free him after being submerged for 7 minutes and 40 seconds.  Cops immediately started CPR on the boy.  He was rushed to the hospital, and incredibly, survived.

Skursky has received support from all over the country, including Governor Tom Wolf who called him a "true hero" for his quick action while off-duty.  The Plains Township man told Eyewitness News the only thing that matters to him is the 12-year-old child is alive.

"I hope the kid lives a nice, long happy life," said Skursky.  "I feel like I'm connected to him now, so as long as he's happy, I'm happy!"

The resort said evidence confirms the boy and his friend removed the grate, and when its in place, the lazy river is safe.  Records show the pool's filtration system had been inspected twice last year and was up to code.

Meanwhile, the boy is home from the hospital, but his exact condition is unknown since his family asked for privacy.  Skursky and the other rescuers received awards in South Carolina for the actions taken that day.


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