Mother saves son's best friend from rip current

Mother saves son's best friend from rip current

NORTH TOPSAIL, ONSLOW COUNTY - A mother rescues her son's best friend from a rip current in Onslow County. The rescuer, Ashley Drummond said the 3-year-old is in the critical care unit at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Drummond said she was at North Topsail Beach with her children and another friend's family. She said the group was enjoying one of their last days at the beach before school starts. Drummond said they were lying on the sand when she did a head count of the children and noticed 3-year-old Mateo Lem missing.

"[Mateo's mom] just started praying for a miracle, because we literally we saw nothing," Drummond said. "It was just water."

Drummond couldn't see Mateo on the beach, but saw something in the surf. So, she dove into the water.

"I just kept moving towards what I saw in the water, but the rip current was just so strong that every time I thought I was getting closer, he was just getting further away," Drummond said.

Drummond found Mateo floating face down in the ocean.

"I wasn't sure what to expect," Drummond said. "I flipped him over he really didn't seem responsive and he didn't seem conscious."

Two other people helped bring Mateo to the beach on a surf board. Drummond said a critical care nurse happened to be on the beach at the time. The nurse got to work getting water out of Mateo's lungs. The nurse discovered Mateo had a pulse.

According to Drummond, Mateo was air lifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and has been on a ventilator since Thursday.

However, a positive sign, Mateo was able to high five his father, despite being sedated said Drummond.

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