Three Massachusetts boys were honored Tuesday for taking quick action that led a 63-year-old man in distress at a Whitman pond being rescued over the weekend.
Eugene Hamilton, 13; Conal Morris, 12, and Neil French, 14, were each presented a framed "Lifesaving Award" by the Whitman police and fire departments, the agencies said in a statement.
The boys had been at Hobart Pond on Saturday when they heard a large splash and then saw a man face-down in the water, authorities said.
"We were there within seconds of hearing the splash and knew we had to act quickly," Eugene recalled, according to a statement from police and firefighters. "There was no one else around."
As Conal approached the water, Eugene and Neil called 911.
"I was in shock and really freaked out and scared at first, but then I thought to myself, 'I can stop this. I can help him survive,'" Conal said, according to the statement. "I jumped into the water and held him up as long as I could until the cops arrived."
Dispatchers were able to help the boys remain calm on the phone and told them to turn the man onto his back to check his breathing, according to a press release.
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Whitman police and firefighters arrived at the pond, authorities said, and the boys stayed to help provide information to the 911 dispatchers.
The man in distress, who is from Whitman, was immediately turned onto his side and two officers cleared his airway, police said. Once the man was stabilized with the help of two other officers, firefighters pulled the man from the water.
The man, who was not identified, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, authorities said. He was alert and talking on the way there.
Sgt. Patrick Burtt-Henderson, one of the officers who first arrived on the scene, credited the boys for saving the man's life.
"What they did was really outstanding, and was a testament to them and a testament to their parents," Burtt-Henderson said, according to the statement. "It's not every day you see boys their age do something like this in that type of situation."