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Prison Inmates Save Boys From Drowning

Posted by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:20 AM
  • 32 Replies
6 moms liked this

Three boys rescued by prison inmates after canoe capsizes on creek

By: David Strege

Three boys who capsized their canoe and found themselves in the raging waters of Salmon Creek in Hazel Dell, Washington, on Wednesday were rescued by prison inmates who happened to be nearby on a work detail, one which they hadn't originally been scheduled to do. They were filling in for another crew, and were just about to leave the area. KPTV.com has the story:

KPTV -FOX 12

The kids weren't identified, but their ages were 16, 10 and 8, and they were reportedly wearing life vests.

"We just thought it was some kids screaming until we seen their two heads bobbing in the water with the canoe upside-down," crew member Nelson Pettis told KPTV. "They were coming down over flooded Salmon Creek. It was raging pretty fast."

See river rescue video from Canoe & Kayak.

Pettis took off his jacket and dove into the frigid creek, letting the current take him down until he could get to a spot where his feet hit ground.

"They actually came to me right there," he said. "Right then, the current swept me from underneath my feet and I grabbed on to the kids and got them to a little island in the middle of the river."

They were able to get to a pile of wood debris in the middle of the creek. Larry Bohn, another crew member, helped the 16-year-old to shore and went to help Pettis with the younger boys and waited for a rescue crew.

"They were really scared," Bohn told KPTV. "They kept telling us, 'Thank you, thank you' all over again."

Vancouver firefighters and a Clark County technical rescue team arrived to bring the boys safely to shore. The inmates reached shore on their own. All were taken to a hospital with mild hypothermia.

The three inmates are serving time for non-violent crimes at the Larch Corrections Center.

"People are trying to say we're heroes. I don't think we're heroes. I think we did something that any good person would do," said inmate Jon Fowler, who helped the crew carry one of the brothers from the boat to shore. "You see three helpless kids in a river, you help. That's what you do. Just because we're incarcerated doesn't mean we're bad people. We made some bad choices in our lives, but we're still, we're just like everybody else. We're just paying our debt for what we did wrong."

Fortunately on Wednesday, they did everything right.

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:20 AM
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Replies (1-10):
glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM
7 moms liked this

Time Served!

IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

 I saw this on the news this morning...great story!

IntactivistMama
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:49 AM
3 moms liked this
Either reduce their sentences or set them free.
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rjsmommy214
by Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:53 AM

awsome!

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Nice story!
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Kimsd
by New Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM
1 mom liked this
Non violent crimes? Let 'em out.
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krysstizzle
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Prison sentences for non-violent crimes are horrible, horrible ideas. They do more harm than good; there are much better ways to deal with it. 

Glad the boys are ok, and glad these men were there. 

wickedfiress
by Kellie on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM
I think these guys proved they are worthy of living among society.
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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

what a great story

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Non-violent crimes.

Let em out.
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