Girl airlifted after nearly drowning in TN River

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HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — A 4-year-old girl was transported by helicopter after nearly drowning in the Tennessee River Friday afternoon, according to EMA officials. The girl had been playing in the water with her grandmother and slipped under the water. According to Ellen Bass, a Hardin County Volunteer Firefighter who was first on the scene, the grandmother pulled the girl out of the water. “She was out with her grandmother. She lives with her, just out having a good afternoon on the water. And it just happened suddenly,” Bass said. “We really didn’t have to perform CPR, we just rolled her over to get the water out of her, kinda massaged her back to get her awake, because she was still kind of lethargic.” Bass said the rescue lasted less than an hour. “It all happened probably within a 30 minute span by the time I arrived on scene getting the ambulance and probably air-evac getting to the ballpark to pick her up,” she said. Officials said she was stable when she was airlifted from the scene. She was taken to Lebonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. The incident occurred at an old marina near the Saltillo Landing. Local residents were talking and praying all afternoon for the girl’s recovery. “It’s hard on everybody because everybody knows everybody. And I mean it’s really stressful and all you can do is come together and pray and try to do whatever we can for the family,” Dana Scott said, a Saltillo resident. There is no update on the girl’s condition.

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