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As a man was drowning in pool’s deep end, 11-year-old was only one who could save him

Advaik Nandikotkur, an 11-year-old boy, saved Srinivasa Yalavarthi, a 34-year-old man drowning in the deep end of a pool at an apartment complex in Eagan, Minnesota. No one else knew how to swim, police say.
Advaik Nandikotkur, an 11-year-old boy, saved Srinivasa Yalavarthi, a 34-year-old man drowning in the deep end of a pool at an apartment complex in Eagan, Minnesota. No one else knew how to swim, police say. Screengrab from KARE11

As a man was drowning in the deep end of a pool on Sunday, no one around knew how to swim — except Advaik Nandikotkur, an 11-year-old boy less than half his size.

So the preteen jumped into the pool at an apartment complex in Eagan, Minnesota. Advaik, who was there with his family, yanked the drowning 34-year-old from the water so his uncle could perform CPR on him, according to KARE11.

That man, identified as 34-year-old Srinivasa Yalavarthi, survived, police say, according to The Star Tribune. He was visiting family at the complex.

For Eagan police officer Aaron Machtemes, the boy’s daring rescue is an exceptional case of someone rising to the occasion, Fox9 reported.

“I’ve never seen a child spring into action to save an adult from drowning,” the officer told Fox9. “There’s examples of people being rescued, but I’ve never heard of a case like this.”

It was around 7 p.m. Sunday evening when Yalavarthi went into the pool’s deep end — and couldn’t stay above the water, according to The Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Police say he was under water for “several minutes” until other people at the pool realized he was drowning.

At first, Raghu Nandikotkur, the boy’s father, “went in the pool with a life ring but soon realized the task was too daunting for him,” according to The Star Tribune. And that’s when Advaik’s swimming lessons at Aqua-Tots in Eagan came in handy.

Mom told me to jump in and I said he was probably too heavy,” the 11-year-old told Fox9, “but I jumped in anyway.”

The 70-pound preteen dived in — and managed to pull the 170-pound man from the pool. From there, the boy’s uncle Suseel Kumar Nandikotkur gave CPR to the man “even though he lacked the training,” according to The Star Tribune.

“Yalavarthi regained consciousness after being resuscitated and was able to walk to the ambulance on his own,” according to The Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.”

Nandikotkur said his son was just doing what he felt was right, and “he was kind of surprised that the neighbors were so appreciative,” The Star Tribune reported.

“It was after people started clapping that he realized what was happening,” the father told the newspaper.

Now, the boy is getting more recognition for his bravery. The Eagan Police Department nominated him for its “Life Saving Award,” according to WCCO. His uncle Suseel is also nominated for the award.

Along with saving a man’s life, Machtemes said he’s impressed with how Advaik has handled the praise from others.

“He’s very calm about it. Just matter of fact,” the officer told KARE11. “He did what he needed to do.

“And I think that’s really cool that he’s just like, ‘Yep, I did it.’”

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