NEW BEDFORD — June 30, 2018, is a day David Gavigan will never forget.

 The Colonel with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office arrived in the South End for the 25th Buzzards Bay Swim, the annual event put on by the Buzzards Bay Coalition in which hundreds of people swim across the bay, from the former Davy’s Locker restaurant in New Bedford to Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven.

 He wasn’t feeling well that morning when he and others from the BCSO reported for duty as first responders for a safety detail at the event.

 Paul Teixeira of the Bristol County Homeland Security division said he was going to call 911, but anyone who knows how stubborn Col. Gavigan is will know he told him no, he’d be fine.

Minutes later, Teixeira was on the phone with 911 dispatchers, who sent David Zander and Brian Pratt from New Bedford Emergency Medical Services to the scene to assist. Zander and Pratt performed emergency medical care on Col. Gavigan at the scene and all the way to Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.

 Col. Gavigan had a heart attack, and he survived the emergency thanks to the quick action by Teixeira and the life-saving medical care from Pratt and Zander.

 “I wouldn’t be here today without all of them,” Col. Gavigan said Saturday morning when he returned to the Buzzards Bay Swim for the annual safety detail.

 Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson presented Teixeira, Pratt, and Zander with the Lifesaver Award on Saturday morning in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds of swimmers and supporters during the safety briefing before the annual swim kicks off.

 “Thank you for saving his life,” Sheriff Hodgson told them while presenting the award. “He’s a member of our family and the community. Thank you so much for what you did for him, his family and the Bristol County community.”

Information from the Bristol County Sheriff's Department

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