Sunday, May 27, 2018
Public safety

Plant City girl, 11, shaken but relieved after helping save toddler from drowning

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — A day after her quick reaction saved a toddler's life, 11-year-old Riley Cooper was still a little shaken.

Cooper and two friends were swimming at the Holiday Inn at 401 2nd Street in Indian Rocks Beach Thursday afternoon when she noticed something was wrong. Three-year-old Dominic A. Cicco, who they'd noticed earlier that day, bumped into them again. But this time the little boy was struggling.

"I picked him up, and he was throwing up and his face was really blue," Cooper, a rising 7th grader from Plant City, said.

The boy's father quickly swooped in, grabbed the child and with another man started performing CPR. They called 911, and Dominic was treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies said.

It's an all-too familiar story in Florida this time of year, and one that doesn't always have such a happy ending. Last month, a 3-year-old boy wandered away from his parents and drowned in the lake behind his Feather Sound home.

"It's key that there's at least some sort of adult or responsible supervision while there are children near or around any body of water," Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cristen Rensel said.

Riley went to the pool with Denise Shannon, 62 and her granddaughters Heavyn, 12 and Neese, 9. Shannon said all three girls were shaken by the incident, and kept asking about the boy hours later.

"I guess it's been a lot," Riley's mother, Raenette, said. "She said 'Mom, I've never seen someone that blue."

On Friday morning, Dominic's family called Shannon to report he was up and running around. For all three girls, Shannon said, it was "a relief."

Contact Claire Wiseman at [email protected] or (727) 893-8804. Follow @clairelwiseman.

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