For years, Los Alamitos High School sophomore Celeste Infante trained to be a lifeguard. Over five summers as a Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard and member of their leadership squad, the captain’s corps, Infante learned the basics of life-saving: how to spot a struggling swimmer, how to guide the person to shore, how to resuscitate a drowning victim. But until she faced her first life-threatening situation, there was no way of knowing whether her training would hold up under pressure.
A teenage girl is alive today thanks to Infante’s help.
On a family trip to the beach May 7, Infante helped rescue a girl who suffered a seizure while swimming.
“Once I heard she was having a seizure, I kind of just went into autopilot mode,” said Infante. “I had never dealt with any kind of seizure before, so it was kind of scary.
“I was with my dad and little brother, and there was this girl, and she kept shouting at this girl in the water,” Infante said. “I had my surfboard with me, and I just went out there. The other girl helped me get the girl on the surfboard, and we started bringing her in.”
The girl had inhaled water and began to cough it up once she was safely on shore. As the on-duty lifeguards began to treat her, she suffered another seizure. Today, the swimmer is recovering, and Infante will be honored by the Seal Beach City Council for her heroism.
“It feels kind of strange to me,” said Infante. “I usually don’t get honored for anything.”
The honor is well earned, said Seal Beach Marine Safety Chief Joe Bailey.
“It’s definitely important that she acted so quickly. She did a good job,” Bailey said. “She did exactly what she is supposed to do