A Morris Township teen was in the right place at the right time early Tuesday evening when she revived a woman at a beach in Ocean County.
The woman—whose name has not been released—was struggling in the water on the unguarded beach at around 6:45 p.m., Ship Bottom Sgt. James Butler said.
"She was floundering in the very rough surf and tumbling in the water," he said.
The woman was spotted by Michael Ems, of East Hampton, and Catherine Ghee, of Connecticut. When the two pulled the woman from the water, she had no pulse and was not breathing, Butler said.
Sixteen-year-old Grace Campbell, a Morris Township lifeguard down the shore visiting relatives, saw the three and rushed over.
"I started running, I started sprinting," she said.
One person was already attempting to give the unconscious woman CPR.
"She wasn't in the right spot," Grace said. "I just said, 'can I take over?' She wasn't really breathing, but she had a pulse."
As Campbell gave the woman CPR, the woman began to cough.
"But nothing was coming out," she said. "I put her on her side. She started spitting up water. She sat up instantly and started moving. When she realized where she was, she was in disbelief."
By the time police and first aid arrived on the scene, the woman was conscious and alert, Butler said.
Campbell, who was CPR-certified in May, never thought she would actually have to use her training, but said she was certainly glad she had it.
The rising junior at said a future career in health—possibly nursing—is not out of the question.
Looking back at what she did on the beach, Campbell said she hadn't felt any sense of pride or accomplishment in reviving the woman.
"I don't know," she said. "Adrenalin just kicked in, and I just did it."
Morristown Patch Editor John Dunphy contributed to this story.