[5/26/17] Remembering A Life Saved On Lake Chelan And Those Who Saved Him

Posted in Feature

With temperatures expected to climb into the mid 80’s this weekend, you can bet that many of us will be taking our first dip of the season into Lake Chelan.

Thanks to our partners, Manson Parks and Recreation, lifeguard Viki Downey and Shoreline Watercraft and Boat Rentals, it will be a safer weekend for a couple dozen local kids.

Last Saturday, Viki hosted a Community Swim Safety event at Manson Bay Park, where she lifeguards every summer…

052617 Gary’s Story 1 :22 “…my 20th season.”

Older adults remember lifeguards at nearly all swimming holes as they were growing up. Now, it’s a rarity. Manson Parks and Recreation is one of just a few in the entire state still employing summer time lifeguards.

At last Saturday’s Community Swim Safety event, Viki distributed two dozen children’s life jackets donated by Shoreline Water Craft and Boat Rentals -followed by hands on instruction…

052617 Gary’s Story 2 :15 “…it’s hard to tell then.”

It’s hard to believe when you meet her, but Viki Downey has been a Red Cross Lifeguard for 52 years. Twenty of those for Manson Parks. During which she has been involved in many water rescues…

052617 Gary’s Story 3 :07 “…primarily adults lost.”

Viki remembers one in particular, five years ago, when she and fellow lifeguard, Gary Knowlton had just finished up for the day, readying to go home, when they were called back into action to help a Manson man who was found face down in the water…

052617 Gary’s Story 4 1:06 “…this is gary’s story.”

Gary’s story is bitter-sweet.

Due to the efforts of Gary and Viki, Manson resident, John Henning, not only survived that near drowning- he’s doing quite well…

052617 Gary’s Story 5 :13 “…really thankful to be here.”

Unfortunately, and unfairly, Gary Knowlton’s life came to an end last summer when he was struck and killed by a hit and run driver as he was riding his bicycle home after another summer life guarding shift on Lake Chelan.

Gone but never forgotten.