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Off-duty lifeguards, trail hikers save teen trying to swim across Potomac River

Montgomery County officials said the good Samaritans in the area performed CPR and had the swimmer breathing again before EMS and rescue teams got to the scene.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — The luckiest person on the Potomac River on Sunday was a 17-year-old swimmer who was saved by off-duty lifeguards that saw him go under while crossing from Northern Virginia into Maryland via the waterway. 

Montgomery County officials said the good samaritans in the area performed CPR around 6 p.m. and had the swimmer breathing again before EMS and rescue teams got to the scene.

The teen reportedly started out in the area of Sandy Landing on the Virginia side of the river, according to Pete Piringer with Montgomery County. This part of the river is opposite the Billy Goat trail which is on the Maryland side of the river. The teen made it about halfway across when he began to struggle and go under. 

At this point, the teen's friends and the two off-duty lifeguards hiking on the Billy Goat Trail went after the swimmer. 

 The teen was taken by boat to Old Anglers Inn on the Maryland side of the river and was taken to the hospital from there.

Drowning in the greater DC region has been prominent during the summer months. Both the Rappahannock River and Potomac River saw deaths at major summer holidays, such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. 

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