WATCH: 'God must have put me there' says Upstate man who saved d - FOX Carolina 21

WATCH: 'God must have put me there' says Upstate man who saved drowning child

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Robert Reynolds on Lake Hartwell (Source: YouTube) Robert Reynolds on Lake Hartwell (Source: YouTube)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Anderson County officials are hailing one citizen as a hero after he saved a child's life on Lake Hartwell in June.

On June 18, Robert Reynolds and his wife were enjoying a day on the water near Singing Pines Recreation Area. Reynolds took their Sea-Doo watercraft out onto the lake to warm it up.

As he was riding, Reynolds said a group of people waving to him - and initially didn't think anything of it.

"At first I thought they were being friendly," he said.

Then Reynolds spotted a little girl's head under the water. The military veteran and retired long-haul truck driver jumped into action.

Reynolds said the 12-year-old girl's arms were slippery from sunscreen as he worked to pull her onto the Sea-Doo. Her mother was clinging to the side, causing the watercraft to spin in circles.

"I told the mother, I said, 'You're going to have to let go now so I can get her to the shore'," Reynolds said. "She let go and I made a bee-line to the shore."

A crowd was waiting at the edge of the water to help render aid to the child, who Reynolds said "coughed up a bunch of water" and began labored breathing.

She was then transported to the hospital by EMTs who arrived on scene.

Reynolds has two granddaughters who he said aren't allowed to go near the water without life jackets on, and he said he thought of them when he saw the girl in the water.

"If I wasn't around, I would home someone else would be around to pull them out and save their lives," he said.

He stressed the importance of lake-goers wearing life vests and being able to perform CPR in case of emergency. But as for his heroic efforts, Reynolds credited good timing and divine intervention.

"I was just glad to be there when I was," he said. "God must have put me there - right spot, right time. She's living now, and hopefully she's going to have a good life."

Watch the full interview with Reynolds from Anderson County Media videographer Paul Brown:

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