DENVER (CBS4) – It was a beautiful day at the beach at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Saturday when suddenly some women spotted two boys who were having trouble in the water.

(credit: Paula Carlson)
(credit: Paula Carlson)

(credit: Paula Carlson)

The incident happened just after 6 p.m. and both boys survived the near-drowning.

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The women screamed for someone to help them and then a young man ran out into the water and grabbed the boys — both 5. He then carried them in his arms to shore, where others helped with CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Paula Carlson captured a dramatic image of the man helping the boys with her camera. She told CBS4 she first heard the women screaming near her and yelled at another person who was closer to the boys to see if they could help.

“I looked over to see where they were running and I saw a little boy face down in the water,” Carlson said.

“The boys were about 15 to 20 yards from the shore,” said Arapahoe County Sheriff’s spokesman Louie Perea.

A ranger at the park told CBS4 the boys are lucky to be alive.

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“They were limp,” Carlson said. “Their eyes were closed. They were limp.”

Perea called the citizens involved in the rescue heroic.

“(The CPR) is probably a strong likelihood why the boys are here today,” Perea said.

Jacque Simpkins, a mother from Colorado Springs who was at the swimming beach on Sunday, told CBS4 she thinks it’s important not to be distracted if your children are out swimming.

A father of one of the boys told CBS4 his son was used to swimming in a pool, but hadn’t had much experience swimming in a lake.

Carlson told CBS4 the actions of the citizens involved in the rescue were “amazing.”

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“I thought it was a bit of a miracle,” she said.