Dean Francks and daughters Kristen (left) and Taylor played a key role in rescuing a woman at Long Lake Beach in Coldstream Aug. 10.

Dean Francks and daughters Kristen (left) and Taylor played a key role in rescuing a woman at Long Lake Beach in Coldstream Aug. 10.

Quick action saves swimmer

A Coldstream woman owes her life to a high-stepping developer with adrenaline flowing through his body, and a former lifeguard who remembered valuable CPR lessons.

A Coldstream woman owes her life to a high-stepping developer with adrenaline flowing through his body, and a former lifeguard who remembered valuable CPR lessons.

Dean Francks had taken his two daughters, Taylor, nine, and Kristen, six, for a late-afternoon dip at secluded Long Lake Beach on the east side of Kalamalka Lake Aug. 10.

As they hit the beach, Francks noticed another woman there with her young kids, and an elderly couple who went into the water for a swim.

Their actions made Francks believe this was an activity the seniors had done many times before.

The man went swimming one way towards some buoys while the woman, 83, went the other way, and the way she was swimming made Francks suspicious that something wasn’t right.

“I was watching her and she looked like she was doing poorly, I thought maybe she was doing  some calisthenics or aqua-sizing, or a side stroke,” said Francks.

“Her head was bobbing up and down in the water, and it just didn’t look right.”

When the woman rolled over face-first on to her stomach, and lay motionless about 30 feet from shore for about 10-to-15 seconds, Francks sprinted into the water.

“I put my arm around her and literally tucked her under my arm like a football. It was a weird adrenaline rush and I high-tailed it in,” said Francks, a Vernon developer.

He yelled at the woman on shore, a woman Francks identified as Lydia Phillips, to get a towel,  and asked her if she knew CPR. Phillips said she used to be a lifeguard, so she kind of knew CPR, then did what she could.

Taylor Francks called 911 and instructed the ambulance as to where their location was.

Kristen Francks took the rest of the kids up to the parking lot to flag down the emergency vehicle and lead the crew to the site.

“Lydia revived the woman,” said Francks.

“After about five minutes, she vomited a few times. After about 10 minutes, she started to breathe. After about 15 minutes, she opened her eyes and began to talk, and after 20 minutes, she was asking what happened, and was coherent when the ambulance got there.”

Francks said the woman’s husband saw him dashing through the water with his wife and got to shore as fast as he could.

“He was pretty upset and in tears, rubbing her back because we had her on her side to encourage her to puke out water,” said Francks.

“Then he was pretty ecstatic, very emotional. He was saying, ‘I don’t want to lose my wife yet.’”

The man called Francks at 11 p.m. to say his wife was being kept in Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s intensive care unit overnight, as she had fluid in her lungs, but it appeared she was going to be fine.

Francks said that was the last update he got.

He called the beach situation “a pretty weird experience, one you don’t want to do ever,” but was glad it worked out.

“I was very impressed with the kids and the way they handled it,” he said.

“They kept within themselves, did what they had to do, everyone did a job and it ended in a good result.”