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11-year-old boy pulls a drowning man from the bottom of a pool and saves his life

When Advaik Nandikotkur's mother urged him to jump into the deep end of a swimming pool to save a man who wa...

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 1:01 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 1:01 AM

When Advaik Nandikotkur's mother urged him to jump into the deep end of a swimming pool to save a man who was drowning, he had some hesitation.

Advaik is 11 years old and weighs all of 80 pounds.

Sports and recreation

Water sports

Swimming (recreational)

drowning

CPR

Society

Heroes and heroism

"He's probably too heavy for me," Advaik told his mom.

The 34-year-old man had sunk to the bottom of an indoor pool at their apartment complex in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. He was in the deep end, about eight feet down, floating with his hands stretched out and his mouth and eyes wide open.

Advaik's mother, Lalitha Mareddy, said there were at least nine men around the pool. But when she yelled for help, no one responded.

They didn't know how to swim.

Advaik's father, Raghu Nandikotkur, tried to save the man by jumping in with a floating tube, but "It was pushing me up and I was unable to grab him," he said.

Then Advaik jumped in.

A flashback to a swim-class drill

In the split second before Mareddy asked her son to help, she remembered a drill from his swim class.

"I saw him go to the bottom of the pool and collect rings and come up. That just flashed in my mind," she said. "If he can go get three things while controlling his breath ..."

The fifth-grader swam down, grabbed the man's wrist and pulled him to the surface.

"Advaik understood the situation," his mother said. "There was an emergency."

On the surface of the pool, Advaik's father helped grab the man and steer him to the edge of the pool. Neighbors helped pull him from the pool, where Advaik's uncle, Suseel Kumar Nandikotkur, jumped into action.

Although he'd never taken a CPR class, Nandikotkur started pushing down on the unconscious man's chest and breathing into his mouth.

"It's based on my experience watching it in movies and in my school days," the uncle said.

After about three minutes, the man began move his eyes, then his hands. By that time, paramedics had arrived to give him oxygen and take him to a hospital. Police told CNN he's made a full recovery.

"I've never heard of a boy jumping in and saving an adult from a pool," said Eagan, Minnesota, Police Officer Aaron Machtemes. "Officers on the scene commented the man was very lucky to be alive."

Advaik said he felt relieved that despite his youth he was able to help.

"I just had that hope in me," he said.

A reluctant young hero

The next day, the grateful man from the pool visited the Nandikotkur family to thank them. Local television crews were there to record the meeting.

"He said thank you, and then I went to another room because I'm not really interested in that grown-up talk," said Advaik.

The man gave him a $50 Macy's gift card, but Advaik said that didn't matter so much to him. What matters, he said, is that the man is alive.

"If someone didn't save him, he could've died or gotten badly injured," said the 11-year-old. "It would be hard for his family to get through."

Advaik is back at school this week and getting a lot of attention since he's all over the local news -- something the shy boy doesn't like so much. Eagan Police also have nominated Advaik for the department's "Life Saving Award."

His mom and dad say they are very proud of their son -- and glad they gave him swimming lessons.

"That was always in our mind, that we should give him some swimming lessons, some survival skills for his own sake," said Raghu Nandikotkur, who arrived in the US from southern India with his family three years ago. The father said he, too, plans now on taking swimming lessons -- although his son is skeptical.

Advaik's mom wishes she could've learned to swim as a child.

"I love water. My father didn't allow that," Mareddy said. "In our culture, it's not a usual thing to do -- to go for swimming lessons, especially for girls."

Advaik's uncle, who performed the CPR, seemed the most impressed with his nephew's act of heroism.

"It's simply superb," he told CNN. "If he had not been there, I don't know. I'm sure it would not be a happy ending."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39589

Reported Deaths: 1523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12703789
Ramsey5013230
Dakota247993
Stearns242919
Anoka2293110
Nobles16726
Olmsted116817
Washington116340
Mower9652
Rice8598
Scott7834
Clay59538
Kandiyohi5821
Blue Earth5102
Wright4925
Carver4171
Todd4022
Lyon3272
Sherburne3275
Freeborn2980
Watonwan2400
Steele2391
Benton2213
St. Louis19816
Nicollet17612
Martin1715
Cottonwood1370
Goodhue1328
Winona13115
Le Sueur1101
Pine1100
Crow Wing10912
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod940
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Unassigned8738
Polk842
Chippewa791
Isanti760
Waseca710
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Murray660
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Pipestone632
Meeker611
Morrison611
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Becker570
Jackson550
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Brown372
Renville362
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Wabasha350
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Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston280
Swift231
Norman210
Wilkin213
Redwood200
Cass192
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Grant170
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Roseau170
Aitkin150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 32533

Reported Deaths: 735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6827181
Woodbury326444
Black Hawk235558
Buena Vista172411
Johnson13638
Linn132382
Dallas129829
Marshall106319
Scott88310
Story8194
Dubuque77122
Pottawattamie75812
Wapello71231
Crawford6793
Muscatine67544
Sioux4880
Tama47329
Wright3881
Louisa36313
Jasper32917
Plymouth3275
Warren2971
Dickinson2823
Webster2524
Washington2479
Cerro Gordo2011
Hamilton1921
Boone1571
Clay1421
Allamakee1354
Clarke1343
Mahaska11817
Shelby1170
Clinton1151
Poweshiek1078
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1011
Bremer987
Franklin980
Des Moines942
Emmet910
Henry883
Cedar851
Hardin830
Taylor810
Cherokee791
Monona770
Floyd742
Marion740
Benton691
Guthrie694
Jones650
Osceola640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Iowa611
Buchanan601
Butler602
Humboldt571
Calhoun552
Hancock541
Harrison540
Lee542
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Monroe517
Madison492
Lyon470
Clayton463
Mills430
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Davis421
Palo Alto420
Mitchell410
Grundy400
Howard370
Jackson370
Kossuth370
Union360
Lucas314
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Greene290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Keokuk201
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