Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Seaside Heights lifeguard saves life of choking baby on boardwalk


The Asbury Park Press reports that 20-year-old Peter LaQuaglia was munching on a piece of pizza on the Seaside Heights boardwalk one Friday morning last month when he heard a woman screaming, begging for help.

LaQuaglia was talking with a friend on a break from his job as a borough lifeguard, but he immediately dropped his pizza and raced to help when he saw the woman’s 10-month-old grandson was choking.


The baby had a plastic ring from a water bottle lodged in his throat. He was clearly not breathing and even beginning to loose consciousness.

LaQuaglia, a Toms River native, was trained in first aid and CPR, but this situation was tricky. He knew he had to apply enough force to dislodge the plastic, but not enough to cause more harm.


“I was pretty scared when it was happening,” LaQuaglia told the Asbury Park Press. “I grabbed the baby, I flipped him over on my knee, with his head down, and then patted him on the back.”

The baby coughed up the piece of plastic and police and EMS personnel arrived to offer further treatment.

LaQuaglia, a former football standout at Toms River High School North who has worked for five years as a lifeguard, was honored with a joint resolution from the State Legislature to celebrate his heroism. And I write him up here to honor him for his body. God bless.


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