CITRONELLE, Ala (WALA) -- A near-drowning in Citronelle last week could have ended in tragedy, but thanks to five people a swimmer in distress survived.

It was supposed to be a fun afternoon in the water at Citronelle Lake when suddenly everything changed for 24-year-old Aundres Pollard. He became disoriented and went below the surface for about two minutes.

Citronelle Lake

“God had a plan for me, I could have been gone,” he said.

He is alive today because of the quick thinking of five people.

“I’m very grateful and appreciative,” Pollard said.

During Citronelle’s City Council meeting on Thursday, Raydonis Coley, Adonnis Packer, James Smith, Daphne Acree and Miranda Cranmore all were honored with the city’s citizenship award for their efforts to save a life.

“I just did what was right, God just put us there at the right time,” Coley said.

“I think my mommy mode just kicked more than anything,” Acree said.

“You just had to do what you had to do in the moment and take care of it,” Cranmore said.

All five hometown heroes say the ordeal lasted just moments.

Pollard was unconscious when he was pulled back to the dock. After CPR he was breathing again by the time an ambulance got to the scene.

“Everybody matters,” Cranmore said. “I mean you just got to jump in the moment and take care of somebody if they need you. It doesn’t matter who they are or anything else. If somebody needs you, you got to be there for them.”

A tough situation for everyone involved with a happy ending, especially for Pollard’s mom.

“I’m very thankful that they were there,” said Tereca Bettis. “I appreciate everyone that assisted and participated in the recovery of my son because if it wasn’t for them then he wouldn’t be here today.”

Pollard says he does plan to get back in the water at some point.

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