“I was just doing my job” — Hugo Lopez

by Loni Rahm. Information and photo released by Viki Downey

Manson Bay was full of laughter and joy on the 4th of July. Sunny skies and warm temperatures made the allure of the refreshingly cool lake all the more enjoyable to those splashing and swimming. A lifeguard had perched nearby for 8 hours, keeping a close eye on the merriment and watching for any sign of concern. His shift over, he dressed and prepared to go home. And then he spotted a boy in danger.

Viki Downey shares the story:

After a full 8 hour shift of life-guarding, Hugo Lopez was ready to go home. His shift was over and he was fully dressed. That’s when he saw a distressed swimmer and without a second thought Hugo sped to the area. He leaped out about 7 feet into the water and rescued an 8 year-old boy. The crowd at the park gave him a standing ovation

Hugo’s reaction to all the praise was, “ I was just doing my job”.  

Manson has a lifeguard on duty from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Their team of lifeguards have had a total of 18 assists and rescues so far this summer. First aid has included a dislocated shoulder, bee stings, stubbed toes and scrapes.

About Viki: It’s hard to believe when you meet her, but Viki Downey has been a Red Cross Lifeguard for over 50 years…nearly half of those for Manson Parks. She has taught scores of people to swim and takes great pride in the fact that she swims in Lake Chelan almost every day – all year! 

If you would like additional information about the Manson Parks Department, call 509-687-9635 or visit their website