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Costa Mesa police officer saves drowning 4-year-old girl

A Costa Mesa officer is being hailed a hero after saving a 4-year-old girl who nearly drowned in her family's pool.
May 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Costa Mesa police officer saved the life of a 4-year-old girl who nearly drowned in her family's pool. His emotions were caught on his audio recorder.

It was a chilling 911 call.

"She is not breathing. She is all blue. Please hurry," Sara Villasenor told dispatchers after finding her daughter in the pool.

She had made a quick trip to the bathroom. She says she was gone for less than two minutes. In that time, her daughter Nina managed to take off her life jacket and floaties.

"There was no struggle, no splashing, no sound, nothing, she just kind of started sinking down to the bottom," Villasenor said.

When Costa Mesa police Officer Matt Olin arrived on the scene, he thought it was too late. The fear in his voice was captured by the audio recorder he wears.

"Come on Nina. Come on Nina," he says while performing CPR.

"I was doing CPR for about a minute, and at that point I still wasn't getting any response from her," Olin said.

She finally did respond.

"There you go. There you go. There you go. Just started, just got her started to breathing," Olin is heard saying on tape.

Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children four and under, and most of those drownings take place in home swimming pools.

On average, that's about 400 children per year. It's a sober warning reminding parents to never take their eyes off a child near water.

"If you are not within an arm's reach, take them out. Be that paranoid, crazy mom, dad, whatever you have to do," said Villasenor.


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