Teen Lifeguard Saves Child From Drowning & Gets Thanked With A $2,600 Hospital Bill

Lifeguard training can only take one so far — which is why after pulling a drowning child from the ocean at an Oregon beach, a teen guard thought it would be standard procedure to head to the hospital in an ambulance to have him checked out by medical professionals. Even after receiving bills totaling around $2,600 for that trip, he says he has no regrets.

John, 17, had just received his lifeguard certification five days before the incident, reports KOIN-6 News. Almost a month ago while on duty he heard screams for help from a 12-year-old who had been swept out to sea. He dove in, reached the boy through the ocean swells and calmed him down, keeping him afloat until jet skis arrived to pull them both to shore.

They got into an ambulance to head to the nearby hospital, something John figured was the right thing to do. Then the bill came: $449 for the emergency room, $227 for the physician and $1,907 for riding 15 miles to the hospital.

“I had a feeling there would be a bill,” John said. “But I didn’t know how much it would be, and I kind of feel bad for the fact that it’s so expensive. But I couldn’t just let the kid go — I had to do something.”

It’s unclear where the boy’s parents were when he was rescued, and why the lifeguard would be responsible for paying the entire bill if both were treated at the hospital.

*Thanks for the tips, Erin and Beth!

Lifeguard gets bill after ocean rescue [KOIN 6 News]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.