Quick-thinking rescuer saves man from drowning in Everett

Henry Elliott, 66, doesn’t want the credit, but he saved a man in the water at the Port of Everett.

EVERETT — He saved a man from drowning Monday night.

But if you ask him, he’d say he wasn’t being heroic. Henry Elliott, 66, of Everett, was hesitant to even talk about it.

“I just happened to be there,” he said.

It all happened in seconds, Elliott said. He was at the south end of the Port of Everett marina around 10 p.m., helping a man in his 60s walk to his boat.

Elliott said he left the man, who used a walker to get around, as he went ahead to clear the dock of some lines.

“When I turned around, he was gone,” Elliott said.

Elliott called out, but there was no response. Then he went to the side of the dock and saw bubbles in the water.

“He totally disappeared,” he said. “He never came up on his own.”

Elliott got down on the dock and felt around the dark, murky water until he grabbed hold of an arm.

The water was cold, Elliott said, and he struggled to hold on. He yelled out for help and improvised a way to call 911.

“I just flipped the phone out of the pocket onto the dock and said, ‘Hey Siri, call 911 on speaker,’” Elliott said. “And I’ll be darned if she didn’t do it.”

Another man on the docks heard yelling. Together, he and Elliott pulled the older man to the dock. He had been in the water between 5 and 10 minutes and was barely conscious.

Soon, an ambulance came to take the man to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, city fire inspector Bronson Pearson said. The man’s condition remained unknown Tuesday, but it appeared he would survive, Pearson said.

Elliott, a retired commercial pilot, said he had never met the man before. He still doesn’t know his name. He was just glad he could help the man get out of the water — Puget Sound can be unforgivingly cold — but he wasn’t too keen on taking credit.

“There’s nothing hero about it,” he said. “It’s just what a person does when you see a person in distress.”

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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