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George  Sayour

Prisoners Rescue Boys After Canoe Capsized on Salmon Creek

By February 1, 2013

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Here's a story you don't hear every day.  Three boys, ages 8, 10, and 16, were canoeing on the flooded and freezing Salmon Creek in Hazel Dell, WA when their canoe flipped over.   The prison inmates who were on a work crew nearby heard the boys screams and took action, saving their lives.  You can see their interview here.

As you listen to one of the rescuer's words, something sticks out to those of use who understand whitewater safety.  He said he jumped in and the water was too swift so he let it carry him down until he could stand.  Now, this man is a hero, and I by no means am questioning his actions.  I would however like to take this opportunity to point out that you should never attempt to stand in swift moving water.  Many people's ankles have been broken and people have even drowned trying to do this.  It is too easy for your foot to lodge, twist, and break in between rocks.

There is a way to swim in whitewater to maximum safety.  All that being said, circumstances do dictate how you react.  This man obviously made the right choice as he got to a point where he was able to have the kids float down to him and he then got them to a little island.  So, he is a hero.   The boys are being treated for hypothermia but will be alright.   I'm glad the 3 boys and the 3 rescuers are all fine.


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