Deerfield Beach boy receives honor for heroic rescue

DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - An 11-year-old boy was honored, Thursday morning, after he saved a teen from nearly drowning in a Deerfield Beach pool last month.

Angel Rivera was showered with recognition and gifts at Deerfield Beach Middle School after he courageously saved the life of a teenager twice his size.

On April 24, he witnessed 13-year-old Usely Nichel at the bottom of a public pool. Without hesitation, Rivera pulled her lifeless body out of the water and placed her on the pool deck, where someone else was able to perform CPR, saving her life.

“That day it was like a fear that came to life,” said Rivera. “Because it was decision. Either panic and let her die, or act smart and do something. And I acted smart and did something, so I feel very proud. If you want to see me what they gave me as a reward, they gave me a
‘Star of Life’ they just told me about it.”

Sheriff Scott Israel called him a hero. He said it took courage to dive into that pool and save someone much bigger than him, plus, he did so without hesitation.

Nichel said she is grateful for Rivera’s bravery on that scary day. She said they were strangers before the ordeal, but now they remain friends. “It’s good and I feel good too, because without him I would not be here to say and talk to you all.”

Angel received the awards in front of his entire school, serving as a reminder to his classmates how important it is to learn how to swim.

He said now hopes to become a lifeguard someday.

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