Corunna varsity swimmer saves Owosso competitor from drowning at swim meet

Published: Jan. 6, 2018 at 2:19 PM EST
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(01/06/17) - An Owosso High School varsity swimmer nearly drowned Thursday during a swim meet at Corunna.

Kamrin Samson was saved in large part because of a Corunna varsity swimmer, who jumped in to pull him up from the bottom of the pool.

Xavier Staubs had just finished a medley relay and was getting out of the pool, along with his competitors, when people started frantically trying to get his attention.

"I look over in the stands and my best friends' dads were pointing down and screaming at me to look down, and I looked down and I see this kid just completely limp, floating to the bottom of the pool," Xavier Staubs said.

Staubs jumped back in the pool to go after Samson. Samson, a junior at Corunna, was swimming in his first meet.

"My eyes were burning as I was doing this," he said. "I clawed to the bottom of the pool, lifted him up with one arm, pushed him to the surface and raised him to the surface with one arm."

Staubs got help from another Corunna swimmer who is a certified lifeguard. When the two of them pushed Samson to the surface, Samson's coach, Mike Gute, and another man pulled him out of the water.

Owosso coach Mike Gute said several current and former medical professionals dropped everything to help with the rescue.

"Kamrin had the right people there at the time to take care of him," Gute said. "I'm a retired police officer, firefighter. The gentleman that helped me is a retired firefighter and EMT. My wife was in the stands. She's a pediatric intensive care nurse. There was also another nurse on scene, so actually it went very well. People knew what to do with a situation like that."

Staubs, a freshman swimmer, is remaining humble about his role in helping Samson.

"I just automatically help people. That's how I was raised. I didn't care if it was a rival or anything, I just saw someone needed help and I instantly thought, 'I got to save this guy,'" said Staubs.

Samson's mother was grateful for everyone who helped save her son.

"It was a scary situation," said Cory Samson. "My husband and I were up in the stands, but we didn't have a full visual on him because we were further down in the stands and not right in front of him."

She says it is her son's first season on the team and Thursday was his first meet. After consulting with medical professionals, she believes that he may have had issues with breathing.

Samson is home after being treated in the hospital and released the same night. He is planning to swim again when fully recovered.

"They were quick on their response, quick getting him out and quick getting him, I guess, awake because he was unconscious, so I think that had a lot do with it," said Staubs.

Gute pointed out that Corunna and Owosso high schools have decades-long rivalry across several sports, but none of that mattered when seconds counted to save Samson's life.

"There's always this competition no matter what sport it is, but really our communities are three to four miles apart. And even though there's that rivalry, there's a friendship," he said. "And even though, you know, no matter what the outcome was of any event that we have, when people need help, good people step forward, and that's what life is all about."