X11 Foreman Carl Prendergast, left, was choking when fellow X11 Foreman Jeremy Bryson noticed something was wrong and came to his rescue. Photo by Ashley Cowan

Taking Action to Help a Fellow Shipbuilder

Published June 21, 2022

Last month, X11 Foreman Carl Prendergast was at his desk at Pier 3 eating lunch when a normal day took a turn.

“I guess I took too big of a bite or something, and a chunk of rice got stuck in my throat to where I couldn’t breathe,” he said. “I tried to drink some water behind it, and that didn’t work. At that point, I went into panic mode.”

Fellow X11 Foreman Jeremy Bryson, whose desk is near Prendergast’s, noticed the commotion and took action.

“I was looking at him and his face was red, tears were coming down and I was asking if he was OK. He started shaking his head so I got up and started doing the Heimlich maneuver,” Bryson said.

It was successful, and Prendergast – who called Bryson his “hero” – was able to clear his airway. For his part, Bryson said he’s no hero. He just did what “any good person would do.”

“I’m thankful,” Prendergast said. “He saved my life.”

Both encourage shipbuilders to take first aid classes and not to hesitate to step in if they see someone in need of assistance.