We tend to think of prisoners as bad people -- if we think of them at all. Granted, some are. But some are not. Some made some bad choices, got themselves into trouble, and are learning their lesson in jail. There are many people who are incarcerated for non-violent crimes -- maybe because of an addiction or they were desperate for funds and did something stupid, or maybe even because they were framed or are innocent. I don't know what the case is with these three prisoners, but I know one thing, they are now heroes. Because the men saved three young boys from drowning.
The men were on a supervised inmate work crew in a local Washington state park when they heard a boy yelling. Says one:
We just thought it was some kids screaming until we [saw] their two heads bobbing in the water with the canoe upside down.
Three boys, ages 8, 10, and 16, had been kayaking in a raging cold river when their boat flipped over. One of the men, Nelson Pettis, dove right into the river. He let the current take him downstream to where the boys were flailing and then was able to grab all three of the kids as they came rushing by him. He was able to get them to a small island in the middle of the river.
That's when another prisoner, Larry Bohn, jumped in and helped get the boys to the shore. There, they put their own coats around them to warm them. Another prison inflated their boat and helped get the 10-year-old into an ambulance. He said:
They were really scared. They kept telling us 'thank you, thank you' all over again.
You see three helpless kids in a river, you help. 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.
I don't know much about prisoner rules, but thank god the supervisor didn't pull his gun when he saw one of the prisoners dive into the water!
We should remember this next time we're tempted to lump all prisoners into one category. Unfortunately, people do make mistakes in their lives, and they have to pay for that. But hopefully this act of heroism will garner the men some excellent karma that will come in handy upon their release.
The boys were treated for hypothermia and released. The father of one of the boys called the prison to thank the men.
Does this make you rethink ideas about inmates?
Image via KPTV Fox 12