Man hailed as hero after saving five-year-old

Published: May 8, 2007 | 6170th good news item since 2003

PENGUIN man Rodney Sharman has been commended for rescuing a five-year-old boy from a sunken boat earlier this year.

Hobart coroner Rod Chandler yesterday released his findings into the incident on January 25, in which Beaconsfield man Robert Crack, the boy’s grandfather, 51, died.

Mr Crack had been fishing at Arthurs Lake with his grandson, Jeffrey, when his boat capsized and sank.

Mr Sharman and Wagga Wagga man Lindsay Graham went to the rescue.

“The boat was halfway down and I jumped in the boat. We circled around the boat to see what we could see,” Mr Sharman said.

“We looked through a viewer that went under the water.

“The water was too murky.

“Then the young fellow poked his head out through the hatch and we grabbed him.”

The two men then tried to make sense of who else had been on the boat.

“We had to get the information from the young fellow who was in the boat,” Mr Sharman said.

“He was in big panic mode.

“He was very cold, he was in severe shock.

“I put a DrizaBone around him and kept him there.”

Jeffrey told the men that his “Pop” had been in the boat, but they were unable to locate him.

“(It was a) terrible thing, I can still see the whole thing happening,” Mr Sharman said.

“All I wanted to do was get the people out of the water but I couldn’t hear any scratching in the boat – it was completely silent.”

Coroner Chandler found that Mr Crack died as a result of a medical condition – atherosclerotic coronary vascular disease – unrelated to the boating activity at the time.

He said he didn’t have enough evidence to find Mr Crack’s boat had sunk because of rainwater in the bilges.

Neither Mr Crack nor his grandson were wearing life jackets.

He commended Mr Sharman and Mr Graham for their quick response to the emergency.

“Had they not responded to this emergency with such speed and decisiveness then there is a very real likelihood that the child, Jeffrey, would have drowned.”

Published in Heroes
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