Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam is praising the efforts of several good Samaritans and deputies who saved the life of a person at Thunderbird Beach in Lake Tahoe last Friday.

“A life was on the line and people stepped up,” Sheriff Balaam said.

They say that at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 5th deputies aboard Marine 9 were informed of a drowning that occurred on the small beach north of Thunderbird Lodge.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) says Marine 9 arrived within two minutes and found Erin Dohlman of Des Moines, Iowa, administering CPR to a victim laying on the beach.

They say witnesses tell them the man had been swimming offshore when he suddenly began to struggle and went under the water.

WCSO says several people swam out to bring the man to shore.

They say Dohlman was on a boat with friends when she saw all of this happen.

Dohlman, a recent graduate of the Des Moines University Physician Assistant Program, went to shore to see if she could help.

WCSO says an off-duty firefighter from California had already begun life saving measures on the victim and Dohlman offered to help.

They say another bystander, Freddy Matias, also arrived and began to assist with lifesaving efforts.

“Matias is a firefighter from CalFire’s Napa Valley station in St. Helena who was off-duty and enjoying a day at the lake. Like Dohlman, he happened to be the right person, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time,” Sheriff Balaam said.

WCSO when Marine 9 arrived, Deputy Heidi Pickard and Deputy Randy Hill both jumped from the boat to the beach to help. Deputy Pickard brought the boat's CPR rescue mask and Deputy Hill brought an AED.

They say the deputies observed that the victim was not conscious or breathing and Deputy Hill immediately applied the AED to the victim while Deputy Pickard administered rescue breaths using the CPR mask. They continued to administer chest compressions while Matias stayed to help with lifesaving measures.

WCSO says after two rounds of CPR, the victim regained a slight pulse and began to breath but remained unconscious but his pulse continued to strengthen.

They say as the victim slowly regained consciousness, deputies were in contact with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District personnel and it was decided to use Marine 9 to move the victim to the Thunderbird Lodge dock for further treatment.

WCSO says after an assessment of the victim at the Thunderbird Lodge boat dock, medical personnel asked Marine 9 to transport the victim to Sand Harbor for a transfer to Careflight.

They say after being taken to Sand Harbor, the victim was transferred to Careflight personnel and taken to a Reno hospital for treatment.

According to the family, the victim is doing well and is expected to recover. They say they appreciate the efforts of everyone involved for the rescue.

“I cannot think of a better example of our deputy’s commitment to the safety of those we serve and the importance of our partnership with the public. I cannot express loudly enough how much we appreciate the way Ms. Dohlman and the other bystanders involved so willingly, and without hesitation, went to the aid of a stranger. Deputies Pickard and Hill, along with the rest of the Marine 9 crew, medics, and lifeguards did a phenomenally professional job," Sheriff Balaam said.