Students Rescue Longtime Instructor After Heart Attack

Andy Berg Headshot

The students rescued the teacher in a dramatic incident at a local pool in the City of Clearwater, Fla., this past weekend.

Clifford Patterson, 66, a senior lifeguard and instructor at the pool suffered a heart attack while doing water workouts last weekend.

As it turned out, all lifeguards on duty had been trained by Patterson, who told the local ABC affiliate it “looked like I was gone.”

Patterson has taught thousands of people over the years how to swim and save lives.

"It was honestly one of the happiest moments of my life just to hear that he was OK and that he was able to come to," lifeguard Cameron Gasky told ABC.

Patterson spent two days in a hospital, and doctors credit the young lifeguards for saving his life.

William Armstrong, 17, rescued Patterson during a mock drowning exercise just a few months prior to the incident. 

"It came full circle because I went from training to save Cliff to actually saving his life," Armstrong said.

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