Teenager saves drowning victim

Published 4:59 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

A day at the water was anything but for Bode Fountain.

Bode, 15, of Orangefield, was swimming with some friends when the group noticed a person may be in trouble.

“At first we were not sure if he said help,” Bode said. “Then I heard him scream for help.”

Shavonn Fountain, Bode mother, was nearby watching a small child at the surf at the time and did not see her son’s heroic efforts.

“An adult girl was out there with him and three 11-12 year olds, totally froze and Bode just jumped into action without thinking about it,” Shavonn said. “All the kids with him came back wide eyed and all talking over each other.”

She did see the near drowning victim make it to the shore and collapse.

Bode swam out to the man and was able to grab his arms so Bode could bring them both to shore safely.

“I could tell something had happened to him, but not that my son had just saved his life,” Shavonn said.

Bode pulled on the knowledge he acquired while taking Level 1 Life Guard Training to know what to do to safely save the man without risking his life at the same time.

He took the class five years ago, when he was 10.

“It is the first time I had to use what I had learned in the class,” Bode said. “I thought it was useless until now.”

Bode added the only reason he took the course when he did was because his brother was taking swimming lessons at the time.

“My mom did not want me to be left out,” Bode said.

Bode told his mother later that he could see how exhausted and terrified the man was at the time.

“The person was tired and trying to swim in a straight line in stead of diagonally,” Bode said. “He was fight the surf and the currents.”

Shavonn said she is proud her son didn’t hesitate, just helped.

“I could not be more proud of him,” Shavonn said. “I hope he never has to do it again.”