Young Hero Saves Drowning Man during Carnival

Joshua Henry, a young expat living in Coronado, did not think he would have to save someone’s life when he went to the beach near Punta Barco on Carnival Monday. Being a holiday there were a lot of people on the beach and in the water. At the early age of 23, Joshua is already a trained lifeguard and is one of the youngest full time firefighters in Canada. Saving lives comes naturally to him. So when Joshua saw someone struggling in the ocean he recognized the signs of drowning. He immediately took off running into the water towards the young swimmer being pulled down by a strong undertow. Undertows commonly occur where the river meets the ocean. When Joshua reached the drowning man the he grabbed and clawed in a panicked frenzy, a natural reaction for a drowning person. Luckily for the man, Joshua was trained in how to deal with such a situation and was able to secure him.

At this point people in the water got out and took to the beach, joining about 150 others who were watching the drama. A lifeguard and two Police Officers who were a distance away, started to make their way to the scene.

Joshua’s father swam out and yelled to Joshua to see if he needed help. The current was very strong and Joshua’s answer was “yes”. So together, the father and son pulled a very grateful young man to safety.

On the beach people applauded and thanked god for the miracle; a savior showing up at the right time, in the right place. By now the Police and Lifeguard were there and congratulated Joshua. Many people came to shake Joshua’s hand and say "thank you”.

The experience has given Joshua a new respect for beach lifeguards. “It’s a lot easier to save somebody in a pool”, he says. Joshua’s mother Laurien said, “We came to Panama to help people and build lives. We are so proud our son actually saved a life”.