Tufts student saves woman’s life

Senior Tatiana Joyce, who has been a lifeguard for three years, saved the life of a woman at risk for drowning at Tufts' Hamilton Pool. Caroline Ambros / The Tufts Daily

On Monday night, senior Tatiana Joyce, a lifeguard at Tufts’ Hamilton Pool, saved the life of a woman who was at risk of drowning.

Joyce explained that it had been a normal night at the pool, where she works from 7:30-10:30p.m. on Mondays and has served as a lifeguard for three years.

“Being a lifeguard is sometimes the most relaxing job you can have — you watch a pool, especially the pool at Tufts — it’s lap swim,” she said.

Joyce added that she pays particular attention to new swimmers at the pool, especially as it is open to non-Tufts community members who she may not recognize.

“As a lifeguard, a new person gets in the pool you’ve never seen — you gauge how well they can swim, they do their laps, you’re assured they can be pretty responsible for their own safety,” she explained.

However, last night was different.

“I noticed a pair of women I’d never seen before, so I always pay a little extra attention if I’ve never seen someone before,” Joyce said.

She explained she had a feeling that she should make sure to keep an eye on these women, who arrived at the pool around 9:00p.m. One of the women, who Joyce estimated to be in her 20s, made it about halfway across the pool to the midsection, where the pool depth is about 15 ft.

She added that once the woman made it to the halfway point, she tried to put her feet down but was unable to reach the ground. The woman immediately became distressed and reached out for the lane line, not responding to Joyce’s calls.

“So I just jumped in the water and helped her get to the side of the pool so she could take some breaths and get her bearings,” she explained.