Children Pulled out of River by Good Samaritans and TPD Officers
TAUNTON — Police Chief Edward Walsh and Fire Chief Timothy Bradshaw report that the Taunton Police and Fire Departments responded after two children fell through the ice and into the Taunton River Thursday afternoon.
Two 14-year-old boys are expected to be okay after being rescued from the river by three Good Samaritans and four Taunton Police officers.
At approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, Taunton resident Kevin Boss, age 54, was driving in the area of County Street and Ingell Street when he noticed two boys that were in the Taunton River. One of the boys was trying to swim to shore while the other was struggling to stay afloat.
Boss pulled over and grabbed a rope from this vehicle. Simultaneously, two Taunton School Department employees, Assistant Storekeeper Nick DaCosta and Community Facilitator Lynne Farina, also saw the boys and both pulled their vehicles over to help.
A short time later, Taunton Police Officer Daniel Williams, Officer Matt Travers, Officer Brendan Canary and Captain Daniel McCabe arrived on scene.
The seven adults used the rope to safely pull the boys ashore.
The Taunton Fire Department responded quickly to the scene and transported the boys via ambulance to Morton Hospital to be evaluated. The boys are expected to be okay.
It is believed that the boys were in the water for approximately five minutes.
Police Chief Walsh would like to praise the efforts of his officers and the Good Samaritans who helped pull the boys to safety.
“This was a fantastic job by the people who stopped and our officers who helped to get these boys out of the water quickly,” Chief Walsh said. “Thankfully, it appears that the boys are going to be alright.”
Fire Chief Bradshaw echoed Chief Walsh’s sentiments and also warned that it is never safe to step on thin ice.
“Thankfully these boys weren’t seriously hurt and the people who stopped to help should be considered heroes,” Chief Bradshaw said. “Though temperatures have been cold recently, it has not been cold long enough to make it safe to walk, skate or fish on any waterway in Taunton.”
As a policy, the Taunton Fire Department does not certify whether any bodies of water are safe to use for recreational purposes. Those who do choose to go out on ice should stay away from all ice in the area of open water, flowing water or where the ice looks slushy or thin.
The Taunton Police and Fire Departments would like to recommend the following ice safety tips:
General Ice and Cold Water Safety
- Never go onto the ice alone, since it’s unlikely you will be able to call for help if you fall through the ice.
- Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue it. Call 911 instead.
- New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decay, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.
- Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing.
- Slush is a danger sign, indicating that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.
- Ice formed over flowing water (rivers or lakes containing a large number of springs) is generally 15 percent weaker.
- Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be one foot thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.
What To Do If Someone Falls Through Ice
- Reach-Throw-Go: If someone falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.) If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
- If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.