Twin Scouts rescue boy from swift-flowing river

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Fred Goodwin, CMA, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Twin Scouts rescue boy from swift-flowing river

    Posted on Tue, Apr. 04, 2006

    FORT WORTH -- Juan and Lorenzo Ramirez heard the mother's screams and
    saw the boy thrashing in the water.

    The 16-year-old identical twins were riding along the Trinity River
    Sunday with Boy Scout Troop 95. The boy, maybe 6 years old, was in
    trouble in water rushing through a spillway near Trinity Park.

    The teens jumped off their bikes, letting them clatter to the sidewalk.
    They yanked off their helmets, kicked off their shoes and peeled off
    their socks.

    Then the Benbrook brothers turned to Jeanine Wilson, a member of a
    local bicycle club riding with the Scouts.

    "They looked like they were ready to be shot out of a rocket; just
    ready to act," Wilson said. "I asked, 'Are you guys lifeguard trained?'
    They both said 'Yes.' So I just said, 'Then go!' "

    The boys bounded down the riverbank, past adults anxious about seeing
    another child go into the water.

    "Don't worry," Lorenzo told them. "We can help."

    And they dived in.

    It started as a hot but peaceful ride along the Trinity River bike

    Scout parents John and Lydia Richey loaded up the bicycles and took
    eight troop members to work on merit badges in cycling. Jim and Jeanine
    Wilson, members of a local cycling club, went along on the 20-mile ride
    to supervise.

    Lorenzo already has 22 merit badges. Juan has 19, including badges for
    lifesaving, swimming, emergency preparedness and first aid.

    They're also assistant karate instructors, along with their father,
    Juan Ramirez, the chief fire inspector at Bell Helicopter, and their
    13-year-old brothers, Samuel and Abram -- also identical twins.

    Last summer, they went to aquatic school and learned to be lifeguards.

    They are also students at Western Hills High School.

    "They're busy by design," said the elder Juan Ramirez. "I figured if I
    kept them involved in all these activities, it would keep them out of
    trouble. And it has worked, because they're awfully good kids."

    On Sunday, the group stopped to fill their water bottles. Juan, Lorenzo
    and Jeanine Wilson were among the last to get water.

    A few minutes later, Jim Wilson realized that his wife and the Ramirez
    brothers weren't with the group.

    "I pedaled back and saw Lorenzo's and Juan's bikes lying in the bike
    path," he said. "Then I saw a commotion down in the water."

    Lorenzo hit the water first, with Juan right behind.

    "The little boy disappeared three or four times, and I just yelled to
    Juan and Lorenzo that he was underwater again," Jeanine Wilson said.
    "He couldn't stay above water."

    Juan reached the boy, grabbed his head and pulled him above the
    surface. But the river was too deep for the 5-foot-2-inch Juan to
    stand. The boy was flailing and kept pushing him under water.

    Lorenzo arrived and slipped his left arm around the boy's chest. He
    started paddling toward shore with his right.

    "I got there just as Juan handed the boy to Lorenzo," Jim Wilson said.
    "They were working together. It was amazing to see from two 16-year-old

    Before Lorenzo reached shore, a man appeared in the water and took the

    Paramedics and firefighters arrived, and the little boy -- groggy but
    breathing -- was loaded into an ambulance.

    Witnesses gathered around the twins, asking their names and calling
    them heroes.

    The brothers just climbed on their bicycles and caught up with the

    "They were wet, but excited," Lydia Richey said. "We just stared at
    them while they told us."

    On Monday, the brothers pointed to the spot where they rescued the boy.

    They told the story matter-of-factly, and prefaced answers to every
    question with "Yes, sir" or "No, sir."

    "All we really did was what we were trained to do," Juan said.

    Lorenzo, who came straight from the orthodontist where he had braces
    put on his bottom teeth, said, "We're glad we were able to help him.
    God put us in the right place at the right time. We would've done it
    for anyone."

    They never got the name of the boy's mother.

    Fire and MedStar officials said the boy's name and condition were
    unavailable Monday.

    Juan Ramirez stood on the riverbank Monday watching his sons have their
    photo taken near the spillway. He's proud of them, but said he felt a
    little rattled when looking at the churning water and thinking of his
    boys jumping in there.

    He's been a firefighter since 1975 and knows the danger of a
    swift-water rescue.

    "They did just what they were supposed to do, exactly the way they were
    supposed to do it," he said. "They're brave, brave boys."

    Then he laughed and shook his head at the water.

    "Or maybe they're just a little crazy."

  2. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "Fred Goodwin, CMA" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Twin Scouts rescue boy from swift-flowing river

    They should have kept their helmets on. They make great floatation devices.

    (Nice story. Thanks.)