Black Diamond Scout given life-saving award

Garrett McGann recently earned a Boy Scout life-saving award.

It was the morning of Sept. 11, 2011. Garrett McGann was splashing around in the wave pool at The Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Wash.

The Black Diamond 9-year-old noticed a young boy swimming nearby had slipped down into his lifejacket and was struggling to keep his head above water.

The quick-thinking Boy Scout Webelos assisted a young, distressed swimmer. With his own head barely above the water, McGann helped to hold the swimmer’s head above water until the lifeguard was able to dive in and rescue the boy.

“I was right next to him and I saw him,” McGann said describing the water level to be about 5 feet. “I went underneath him and held him up until the lifeguard blew the whistle and the waves stopped.”

McGann later found out the boy he helped had a disability and was unable to yell for help.

Black Diamond Cub Scout Pack 581 honored McGann with The Pack Merit Award for Lifesaving Sept. 27 at the Black Diamond Community Center.

McGann also received a Mount Tahoma District patch. Only 500 Mount Tahoma District patches were made last year and McGann’s has a blue ring around it, a color bestowed on just 30 to 40.

“I was just doing it because I wanted to help him,” McGann said. “I didn’t want him to drown or anything. I just wanted to help him out.”

“I was pretty proud of him,” his mother said. He is the son of Tina and Jack McGann.

In addition to the Boy Scout honor, McGann has discovered a newfound popularity at Black Diamond Elementary School where he is a fourth-grade student.

“The principal (Gerrie Garton) announced it to everybody,” he said.