Family of young girl who nearly drowned thanks rescuers - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Family of young girl who nearly drowned thanks rescuers

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A 10-year-old Vernon girl is lucky to be alive after she was saved by two bystanders when she went underwater at a pond over the weekend. (WFSB) A 10-year-old Vernon girl is lucky to be alive after she was saved by two bystanders when she went underwater at a pond over the weekend. (WFSB)
VERNON, CT (WFSB) -

A 10-year-old Vernon girl is lucky to be alive after she was saved by two bystanders when she went underwater at a pond over the weekend.

Alyanna Bukhari went under water while she was playing with her brothers at Valley Falls Park in Vernon on Saturday afternoon.

“After a while I saw some bubbles come up and I swam over and I couldn't see but I felt something on my leg. I reached down, I tried to pick her up but it was deep water," said 15-year-old Kevin Kozak, who is being hailed a hero for pulling Alyanna out of the water.

“I'm feeling good," Alyanna Bukhari said.

Kozak happened to be fishing in the water near where Alyanna was.

“Once I found her and she wasn't moving, that's when I was like we need to get her out of the water," Kozak said.

The teen carried the girl from the water to the shore. That’s when Matthew Jennings, who lives in Massachusetts, performed CPR.

“I thought for a moment I lost her. I took her on my hand and foam was coming from her mouth -- she was unconscious and I knew she was done," said Alyanna’s father Imtiaz Bukhari.

But she started breathing.

The family is from Pakistan and just moved back to the United States. They said they are extremely grateful.

“Without his actions, without his quick thinking and response we would have been faced with a tragedy here,” said Vernon Police Lt. William Meier.

The teen said his instincts just kicked in, but maybe he had a little help from above. Kozak happened to be at a funeral for his grandmother earlier that day and said “it’s meaningful that one person passed and another one is saved.”

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