Fast-acting Shelby Farms Park Ranger saves drowning teen

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A teenager is alive and well Monday because of the quick thinking of a Shelby Farms Park Ranger.

Matt Presley said he knew he had to act quickly the moment he saw the teenager struggling in a lake.  He took off his shoes and socks and jumped in to help.

"There was a teenager bobbing up and down, so I stopped for a second," Presley said.  "A lady came running over and said he was drowning."

Presley was picking up trash along Patriot Lake when he jumped the 20-foot-deep lake to help save the teenager

"I grabbed him and kept trying to instill in his head to try to float instead of kicking against me," Presley said.

Presley pulled the teenager to the edge of the water where his family was waiting.  He said the boy was responsive and was transported to a local hospital.

Monika Richard, a park visitor, said these types of incidents are always unfortunate.

"You never know," Richards said.  "They could be at a neighbor's house with a swimming pool and you just want them to be prepared."

Richard said luckily Presley was in the right place at the right time.

"What a God's blessing that he was there in time to save that young man," Richard said.

Presley said he was just doing his job.

"It's part of my job," Presley said.  "I hate to see anything happen to somebody.  I'd hate for it to happen to my own kid."

Swimming is not allowed at the lakes at Shelby Farms Park.

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