Airman 1st Class Kylle Krzywiecki shows the underwater cave he dove into to rescue a drowning man March 27, 2010, in Guam. Airman Krzywiecki, along with Airman 1st Class Mark Gregg and Airman 1st Class Caleb Rodriguez performed CPR and ran more than a mile through jungle and beach terrain to contact emergency services. The victim, Christensen Kimi from the island of Chuuk, survived and was released in good health from the hospital a day and a half later. Airman Krzywiecki, Gregg and Rodriguez are assigned to the 36th Munitions Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mike Andriacco)
Airmen 1st Class Mark Gregg, Caleb Rodriguez and Kylle Krzywiecki stand with Christensen Kimi from the island of Chuuk, at Fai Fai Beach in Guam. The Airmen saved Mr. Kimi from drowning in and underwater cave March 27, 2010. It was the first time the Airmen got to see him since the accident and he and his employers took the opportunity to thank them for saving his life. Airman Krzywiecki, Gregg and Rodriguez are assigned to the 36th Munitions Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mike Andriacco)
by Tech. Sgt. Mike Andriacco
36th Wing Public Affairs
4/7/2010 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) -- Three Airmen from Andersen Air Force Base saved the life of a local resident when he failed to surface while cave-diving March 27 in Guam.
Airmen 1st Class Mark Gregg, Caleb Rodriguez and Kylle Krzywiecki, all from the 36th Munitions Squadron, said they were relaxing on the beach after a day of snorkeling and cave swimming when Christensen Kimi offered to show them another cave.
During one of his dives, Mr. Kimi didn't resurface.
Airman Krzywiecki said he became concerned and swam under and followed the light from his underwater flashlight. He realized Mr. Kimi was unconscious, grabbed him by the arm and swam to the surface.
"As soon as I got to the surface, I told Airman Gregg and Airman Rodriguez that I needed help," he said. "The cave was very rocky and I wouldn't have been able to get him up by myself."
After hauling him up to a flat rock, the Airmen's self-aid and buddy care training kicked in. They found a weak pulse, but he wasn't breathing. After a few rescue breaths, the Mr. Kimi coughed up fluids.
After the excess fluid was out of Mr. Kimi's lungs, Airman Gregg ran to find a telephone.
"I sprained my ankle the week prior," Airman Gregg said. "But when you see something like that, everything changes. You don't feel your sprained ankle. Everything is just quick. I ran to the nearest phone at a hotel and have never run faster in my life."
While they waited for Airman Gregg to return with help, Airmen Rodriguez and Krzywiecki continued to monitor Mr. Kimi's condition. After a time, Airman Krzywiecki went to assist Airman Gregg and ensure emergency services were en route. Airman Rodriguez stayed behind to make sure Mr. Kimi stayed warm and to render further first aid if needed.
"I felt his arms and his hands," Airman Rodriguez said. "His extremities began to get colder, so I dried him off and pressed his back against my chest and put my forearms on his chest to try to keep his vitals warm. I just kept talking to him and reassuring him I was there."
When emergency services arrived on the scene, the Airmen helped carry Mr. Kimi to the awaiting ambulance. When the Airmen visited him in the hospital later, he was breathing much better and was discharged after a few days of observation with no lasting effects from his ordeal.
All the Airmen credited the training they received by the Air Force with their ability to act under pressure and accomplish their lifesaving actions that night in a cave. As for Mr. Kimi, he doesn't remember the accident until we woke up in the hospital, but he's grateful nonetheless.
"I don't remember much," he said. "But I know if it weren't for these Airmen, I wouldn't be alive today. Thank you."
4/8/2010 5:31:19 PM ET Wow. Just wow. These young Airmen acted properly under stress. Training kicked in and they saved a life. Very well done