Lifestyle & Human Interest

Family Looking for Hero Rescuer Who Saved Child Who Couldn't Swim in Lake and Left Without Thanks


Plenty of fishermen enjoy getting out onto a lake or river to enjoy quality alone time in nature. It’s a time to relax, unwind and — in the case of one fisherman this week — save a child at risk of drowning.

A 10-year-old boy was out on Cossayuna Lake in Washington County, New York, at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday when he somehow fell out of his kayak.

At the time, he was not wearing a life vest.

Even worse, according to The Post Star in Glens Falls, he couldn’t swim.

Another 10-year-old in a kayak was near the boy in the water and was trying to help, but he also was not wearing a life vest and did not know how to swim.

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That boy’s mother called the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for help. Cossayuna Fire Chief Pat Donahue showed up, and when he walked to the water, he could see the boy clinging to the kayak.

“She was saying that the kid didn’t know how to swim,” he said.

“I don’t know if they had permission from their parents or, you know, how that worked, but there is an inlet and they went down the inlet and they got out into the main part of the lake, and that’s where they got into trouble,” Donahue told WTEN-TV.

According to a news release by the sheriff’s office, “The children made numerous attempts to get back to the shore but were unsuccessful.

“An adult fisherman in his own boat was fishing in the area and heard the children yelling,” the release continued. “The unidentified fisherman was able to safely bring the children to shore.”

The hero didn’t dawdle and was back out on the water as soon as the boys were handed off to waiting first responders.

First responders checked the boys out, and the one who had been in the water was checked for hypothermia. The second boy was fine.

“The other kid was still in his kayak and wasn’t harmed at all,” Donahue said. “He actually got back to the dock on this own.”

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The parents and first responders were unable to get the hero’s name, but authorities have repeated how dangerous it was for those two boys to be out on the water without proper safety gear or training.

The parents and sheriff’s office have asked the fisherman to come forward so he can be properly thanked, but at least one person thinks that’s unlikely to happen.

“The gentleman brought him to shore, and he went back out fishing,” Sergeant Robert Sullivan with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office told the Times Union in upstate New York.

“With his demeanor, I don’t know if he’s going to come forward.”

“I would like to thank him,” Donahue added. “He changed the situation where something could have been really bad. He really helped out, and that’s great.”

Whether or not he comes forward, hopefully the unnamed hero was happy with the day’s catch.

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