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Near drownings reported in Coeur d’Alene, Spokane

Fri., July 9, 2010, 7:13 p.m.

Two young children were saved from drowning by witnesses in separate incidents in the Inland Northwest on Friday.

A 4-year-old boy was pulled from Lake Coeur d’Alene near Independence Point about 2:10 p.m. by 16-year-old Brian Best and 18-year-old Darin Anderson, who found saw him face down in the water about 10 feet from shore.

Spokane resident Gabe Piper, 37, and Misty Bebout, 18, of Spokane Valley, performed CPR and boy began breathing on his own.

Coeur d’Alene police Sgt. Erik Turrell called the rescuers heroes.

About 20 minutes later, a 3-year-old girl was resuscitated by a lifeguard at Witter Pool in northeast Spokane after several teen girls spotted her under water.

The lifeguard – one of at least 10 on duty – pulled the girl from the water and performed CPR, which got her breathing again, said Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department’s assistant chief.

The pool near Mission Avenue and Perry Street was closed for the remainder of the day, which is common procedure following a traumatic incident, city officials said. It will reopen for open swim Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.

Both children were taken to local hospitals and are expected to make full recoveries.

With temperatures climbing, Turrell urged swimmers to use caution, particularly with children.

“I can’t stress enough to really, really keep an eye on your children, because they’re so easy to lose,” he said.

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