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3 boys save 6-year-old from drowning in Norton Bay in Elim

From left, Logan Jemewouk, Wayne Moses and Brant Bradley pose for a photo outside the IRA...
From left, Logan Jemewouk, Wayne Moses and Brant Bradley pose for a photo outside the IRA Council office in Elim, Alaska.(Courtesy of Doris Amaktoolik and Eugenia Jemewouk)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On a normal Monday afternoon in Elim, three boys were crossing a creek in town to go fishing when they noticed an unresponsive 6-year-old boy lying face down in Norton Bay.

Thanks to the group’s quick thinking and fast response, the boys managed to save the life of young Trayce Saccheus.

After noticing Saccheus in the water, the three boys — 12-year-old Brant Bradley, 10-year-old Logan Jemewouk, and 10-year-old Damion Takak — raced to the shoreline as they ripped off their clothing. The group swam through the deep, frigid waters to pull Saccheus out of the water.

“They put the boy between them and swam up the shore,” said Wayne Moses, who happened to see everything play out from a distance, but had initially mistaken Saccheus’ body for a piece of wood floating in the water. “I thought the boys were racing to take off their clothes, so I thought they were, you know, first one in to go into the ocean.”

Moses, Bradley and Jemewouk all spoke with Alaska’s News Source on Thursday about the incident.

As Saccheus laid on the beach with blue lips, Jemewouk and Bradley worked together to perform CPR. Jemewouk held Saccheus’ small head in his hands as he blew air into the boy, while Bradley performed external chest compressions. With one pump, Saccheus coughed out a small amount of water — enough to allow him to breathe shallowly.

Moments later, Moses, who lives nearby, rushed down on his all-terrain vehicle toward the boys to offer help. However, as he approached them, Moses realized the boys had everything under control as they yelled at Saccheus to breathe.

“My main concern was to try and get the water out,” Moses said. “But he wasn’t responsive until we started hollering to him to breathe.”

With air slowly creeping back into his lungs, Saccheus let out a very faint cry, marking the sign of life they had all been hoping for.

“These gentlemen here did the job on getting him alive,” Moses said. “These two right, with Logan, are the heroes. They’re the ones who saved that boy’s life. I was just there to bring them to the clinic to get help.”

Saccheus was transported to the local clinic in Elim for evaluation, then transported to the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome, according to Eugenia Jemewouk, the tribal coordinator of Elim. She added that Saccheus was released from the hospital on Wednesday and is doing well.

Since saving the 6-year-old, the group of boys has been praised by their neighbors and people who have heard their heroic tale.

“They’re happy with what we did,” Bradley said, who noted that he’s been thanked and hugged multiple times by people.

“I’m very proud of them. They knew exactly what to do ... to keep that boy alive until help got to them,” Moses said. “The instant when a lot of people would panic, these ... three young men, they didn’t. They had one thing in mind — to save their friend’s life.”

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