Monday, Feb. 25, 2008
A man was rescued after falling into the ocean south of the Ocean Beach Pier, San Diego lifeguards said Monday.
A woman and two other people heard the man’s cries for help and jumped into the water at the foot of Santa Cruz Avenue and Bacon Street to save him, lifeguards said.
Anna Suzette Eblen said she heard the man’s cries for help and immediately jumped into the water to try and save him, reported 10News.
The victim was apparently climbing on some rocks at about 10:20 p.m. Sunday when he fell in to the chilly water, lifeguards said.
The man was transported to Mercy Hospital for treatment of respiratory problems and hypothermia, authorities said.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007
A boy in Columbus survived a pit bull attack over the weekend thanks to some observant people.
They were driving down the street, and realized the dog and the child weren’t just playing.
They say the dog was chewing the clothes off the boy and was going for his neck so they pulled their car onto the lawn and distracted the dog.
Franklin County Animal Control officers says the pit bull seemed to snap and attack the boy.
Corporal Joe Rock, an Animal Control Officer said “If that hadn’t come along and did what they did that boy could be a lot worse off, if not dead.”
The boy is recovering at a Columbus Hospital.
Friday, Nov. 9, 2007
There was no villain with a handlebar mustache. But there was a woman stuck on the railroad tracks with a train bearing down on her.
And her saviors came in the form of an off-duty New York City police officer and her husband, a volunteer fire chief.
In Mineola, New York, authorities say the 63-year-old driver apparently mistook the Long Island Rail Road tracks for a road last night. Her car got stuck on the rails as a train came speeding toward her.
Just seconds before the train smashed into her car, the couple ran over, yanked open the door and pulled the woman out.
Nobody was hurt. But one rescuer says the woman was annoyed the pair had left her pocketbook in the car.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007
A 7-year-old boy trapped in a lift in his grandparents’ house had to be freed by firefighters using a chainsaw.
Edward Sclater was at the Mt Maunganui house on Saturday when his arm got stuck between the lift floor and wall as he reached to retrieve a ball.
The lift was the type that has only a platform floor, rather than an enclosed carriage, to move up and down the shaft.
Edward’s forearm became wedged between the floor and the shaft wall as the lift was moving.
It moved up two storeys before it stopped and emergency services could be called.
The 7-year-old’s arm was crushed and he spent a night in hospital recovering but, by yesterday, had feeling back in his fingers.
Miraculously, he suffered no broken bones, although the swelling and bruising were severe.
Edward, of Matamata, was reluctant to talk publicly about his ordeal, but his mother Justine told the Herald that he was anxious to thank the two Fire Service crews who spent 20 minutes freeing him, and particularly the officer who cut a hole in the lift floor with a chainsaw to get him out.
“He really wants to see the fireman,” Mrs Sclater said. “He was really the hero of the day.”
Edward had been returning from an outing to the beach with a neighbour of his grandparents.
The neighbour, a man in his 40s, was in the lift of the grandparents’ May St home when Edward reached to retrieve a volleyball.
It was unclear how his arm became wedged in the small gap between the lift floor and walls, or how the volleyball managed to drop into the shaft.
“It was just an absolute freak accident,” Mrs Sclater said. “I absolutely blame no one for it.”
Four firefighters from Mt Maunganui and a second crew from Tauranga rushed to the house, and initially tried to free Edward by using crowbars and wedges to pry the lift floor back.
When those efforts failed, they used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the platform floor.
“He wasn’t keen on the chainsaw right next to his arm, but he was brave,” Tauranga senior station officer Phil Price said.
Soapy water was then used to free Edward’s crushed arm from the cut-out notch of floor.
Mrs Sclater praised the firefighters and said St John ambulance staff had also been great, ringing yesterday morning to check how her son was doing.
Edward’s stay in the new children’s ward at Tauranga Hospital had also been “more than comfortable”.
She said the incident had been very traumatic for her parents, Irene and Colin Thompson, but had not put her son off his visits. “He thinks his granny and granddad are pretty cool.”
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007
A rescue at the Fox River last week might not have been, had Batavia resident Tom Wangler been on time for his morning walk.
Wangler and his wife, Paula Mueller, left just minutes later than normal for their usual Wednesday morning walk a little after 9 a.m. Oct. 24 when they came across a capsized canoe and a man and woman trying to stay afloat in the Fox River near the Batavia Boat Club.
“We asked if they were OK and they didn’t answer,” Wangler said.
Wangler called 911 and then stripped down to his boxer shorts and T-shirt and jumped into the water where he called upon his lifeguard skills he learned as a Boy Scout years ago,
Wangler was nearest to Brittany Trushel, 25, who was treading water in attempt to get to shore. Erik Smolik, 27, was clinging to the canoe.
“They had so much winter clothes on their bodies they couldn’t swim,” Wangler said.
He coached Trushel to fight the cold water and keep kicking.
“I went in up to my knees, coaching her. Then I kept going closer to her until the water got up to my neck. I was able to reach her fingertips and then her arm,” he said.
Soon Wangler was able to pull her to shore.
“That’s when I figured out Eric had given her both life jackets to get to shore,” he said. “I had been yelling at Eric to let go of the boat, that we’d get it later. Then I understood.”
Wangler then went out after Smolik, struggling to keep his footing in the current. He threw a life jacket to Smolik.
“I proceeded to make the worst throw of my life,” he said. “I said, ‘That’s all you get Erik. You’ve got to start swimming.’”
At first, Smolik resisted, saying he couldn’t move his legs, Wangler said.
“I kept coaching him and he finally let go of the canoe and he went for it,” he said.
Wangler told him to keep kicking.
“Sure enough he got to where I could pull him ashore,” he said.
Trushel and Smolik, employees of the Illinois Natural History Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, had been in the Fox River collecting water samples to evaluate the effects of dam removal on the aquatic insects in the area, said Marcelyn Love, Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman.
“This has been an ongoing project,” Love said.
Both Trushel and Smolik were taken to Delnor-Community Hospital and released.
Wangler refused treatment. Instead, he went home to take a hot shower and went to Starbucks for coffee to warm up before heading to Confident Aire, the heating and air conditioning business he owns in Batavia.
Batavia Deputy Fire Chief Randy Deicke lauds Wangler’s efforts.
“Anytime somebody will get into cold water like that and risk their life to help somebody else, that’s a wonderful thing,” he said.
Deicke said people like Wangler who go above and beyond are often given a citizen’s award. Batavia Fire Department officials believe the Trushel and Smolik had been in the water about 15 minutes.
Wangler credits the rescue to being at the right place at the right time.
“Had we been on time we probably would have waved at them as we went by,” he said. “They would have just been floating by in their canoe. It’s the kind of thing that gives you little tingles on your back. Sometimes it just all works out.”
A former firefighter comes to the rescue of his neighbor following a late night fire, and now he’s being called a hero.
Fire broke out at a home in the 3200 block of Andrea Avenue in Susquehanna Township shortly before 10:30 Monday night.
One neighbor called 911, while others tried to get inside.
Tim Foote, a former captain with the Progress Fire Company, got in through the garage door. Once inside he realized he had another problem.
“Cause I didn’t have a pair of shoes on- trying to clear the path so could get to him, then someone threw me a pair of sneakers, put them on and got him out,” says Foote.
Neighbors have identified the fire victim as Dave Jaus. Foote and other neighbors carried him outside the house when firefighters arrived.
Jaus was listed in critical condition at the Lehigh Valley Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
The fire marshal says they believe the fire was accidental, and that it started in the living room.
Monday, Oct. 29, 2007
The Coast Guard rescued a 6-year-old boy and four men who went missing in Trinity Bay, Texas Sunday night.
The family had been in-touch with the boaters, but lost contact with them around 9 p.m. Sunday. After losing contact with them, the family called a Texas Parks and Wildlife officer for help.
The officer then contacted a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston just before 2 a.m. requesting help to find the boy and men who were stranded in a broken down boat.
The Coast Guard launched a helicopter and rescue boat crew to help in the search. At dawn a second helicopter and rescue boat crew joined the search.
The rescue helicopter crew located the disabled boat with all five onboard in Galveston Bay. The boaters were all found in good condition.
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007
A family visit turned into a rescue mission for an expatriate Kiwi caught up in the fires in southern California.
Renee Cohen, 29, was on a farewell visit to American relatives near San Diego on Tuesday when she was caught in the fires that have razed hundreds of homes and forced 500,000 people to flee.
Cohen and husband Neil, an American, will return to settle in New Zealand this week after living in Florida for five years.
Cohen said her relatives had decided to evacuate their home in Poway, north of San Diego, and had spent a night preparing to leave.
“We were driving up during the day to see them and the sky was black, like midnight,” she said.
The relatives had to fit their most treasured belongings into a pick-up truck and the Cohens’ car, take their dog and leave their home to its fate.
The news had since been good from the Poway area, with effective firebreaks being established in the hills to stop the flames.
Cohen said smoke had spread to Los Angeles, where the air had a brownish tinge to it “over and above the usual LA smog”.
Cohen, who is expecting her first child, is from Wellington.
California’s insurance commissioner says the fires have probably caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses.
“This is just a terrible disaster; it’s going to be one of the worst ever,” California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said.
The total destruction would easily be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Analysts with Moody’s Economy.com estimated San Diego County will lose $45 million daily from disruptions caused by the fires.
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007
Two men accidentally buried up to their torsos in dirt were trapped for three hours Saturday while firefighters dug them out of a caved in trench.
The men became stuck in the nearly three-metre deep hole after dirt they’d piled at its side slid back in, around 3:45 p.m.
“The two were badly pinned, pushed against the wall and finding it very difficult to breathe,” said Toronto fire district chief Stephan Powell.
Three other men helping to dig the trench – in order to waterproof the foundation of one of the men’s homes – escaped unharmed.
Three rescue crews freed the men, who were taken to hospital with bruising to their lower bodies.
This is the second time people had to be rescued from a trench in the last week.
Powell said the public should take precautions with this type of work, like ensuring the hole is large enough and not working alone or else, simply hiring a professional.
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007
The revelation was not, perhaps, what he expected.
A Berkeley man who hiked into the Los Padres National Forest to conduct a multi-day fast found himself too emaciated eight days later to hike out and was rescued Tuesday by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department.
Backpackers who had encountered Gerald Horne 12 miles into the rugged backcountry hiked to the trail head and alerted authorities. Rescue team members were lowered to the hiker via helicopter and then airlifted him out of the forest to a waiting ambulance.
Horne, 38, was transported to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
“He said he was just going out to find himself and get away a little bit and go on a fast,” said Sgt. Joe Moses on Wednesday.
But by day five Horne couldn’t hold down food or water, Moses said.
By the time the backpackers stumbled upon him at Sykes Camp over the weekend, it was clear Horne wasn’t leaving the forest under his own power, Moses added.
“A couple of them came out and said, `This guy needs help,’ ” Moses said. “So we went in and got him.”
Those undertaking extended fasts should seek regular monitoring, including physical examinations and weekly blood tests, according to a Web article by Dr. Elson Haas, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael and author of “Staying Healthy with Nutrition.”
Long fasts may reduce blood protein levels and will drop blood fat levels, Elson wrote. They can also spike uric acid levels as the body scavenges protein, resulting in painful joint inflammation and potential kidney damage.
Friday, Aug. 24, 2007
The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a house fire that broke out last night in Magnolia and critically injured an elderly woman.
The blaze, reported shortly before 10:30 p.m., occurred in the 100 block of Dogwood Drive off Irish Hill Road, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Michael G. Chionchio said.
When the Magnolia Fire Company arrived on the scene they saw flames shooting from the one-story house and discovered one person was trapped inside.
Chionchio said firefighters were able to rescue the woman from the burning house.
State fire investigators remained on the scene into the morning as they continued searching for the fire’s origin and cause.
“The 87-year-old female was transported to the Christiana Hospital and has been admitted in critical condition,” Chionchio said. “Two other residents were taken to the Kent General Hospital for treatment.”
One firefighter was also being treated at the Kent General Hospital for burns.
While Chionchio said the home sustained heavy damage a monetary estimate on the loss is not yet known.
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007
A day on the lake is usually synonymous with family fun. But the tide began to turn for Rachel Hohensee when the floatie they brought with them starting drifting away.
“I went and got it, brought it back. Started playing with it again. Next thing I knew it was back where it was,” says Rachel.
So she began swimming after it again. It appeared to be just a few feet away.
“I was like well I can swim that far it was no big deal.”
But little did Rachel know that as she was swimming closer and closer to the floatie it was sailing further and further away from her.
Next thing she knew she was beyond the bowie in the water and she knew she was in a danger zone.
“A little bit before she started screaming, she turned and looked and you could see desperation [in her face]. Like ‘I’m not going to make it’, just the look on her face,” Rachel’s husband Ronnie describes.
Rachel adds, “I kept telling myself that same thing over and over, surely someone could hear me. Just a few more seconds, someone’s got to get here. But I didn’t know anyone was coming until he was actually to me.”
The “he” Rachel is referring to was a total stranger who jumped out of his raft to save her.
“But after just a few seconds he said, ‘I’m fixin to drown. I can’t stay up.’ And I looked back and there was no one close enough and he said ‘Hold on just a minute stay here I’ll be right back,'” says Rachel.
“He went further to get the floatie. He reached out and grabbed it and flung it behind him and it just happened to go right to her,” says Ronnie.
Then more help would arrive. Rachel would get the first name of the man who saved her life, Chris. But she says there’s so much more she didn’t get to say.
“Thank you so much. The fact that he risked his life to save my life… he’s a hero. He may not feel like it but he is.”
Ronnie adds, “My heart goes out to this kid there is no words for it.”
If Chris is watching, Rachel is hoping to get in contact with him again. A reunion that would be the perfect end to what could have been a tragic story.
Again, Rachel was rescued on June 19th on Lake Holbrook. The incident happened late in the afternoon that day. Rachel believes Chris was about 19-24 years old.
Monday, Aug. 20, 2007
A good neighbor is being hailed as a hero after a fire broke out next door displacing its six adult residents.
Mike Owens was awaken at around 3:00 a.m. Sunday night in his Poolesville home on the 19,00 block of Gott Street by loud popping sounds. When he looked outside he saw a fire burning the back of his neighbor’s two story, single family home.
Montgomery County Firefighters say Owens immediately called 911 and then went over to his neighbor’s house to alert the family. Owens was able to enter the family’s home through an unlocked door and rescued their pet dog. Firefighters called his actions potentially life-saving.
Investigators believe the fire originated accidently near a deck that holds electrical services for the family’s pool and that a natural gas meter apparently became involved and fed the fire.
Firefighters say several family members also were smokers and used the deck area to smoke. The exact cause remains under investigation and the damage cause by the fire is estimated at $485,000.
Friday, Aug. 17, 2007
A Santa Barbara man survives a fall down a steep cliff.
Now, he wants to find the man who helped rescue him.
Tuesday night, he was driving east near Camino Cielo when he hit the gravel and plummeted down the cliff.
Victor’s prosthetic leg came off and he was unable to climb up the near 150 foot hill.
Victor had to wait until morning to flag someone down.
That man helped Victor and called 911, waiting for emergency crews to arrive.
“His name is Ernie and I would really like to find Ernie. He disappeared from the scene and I would really like to find him. Had he not found me, I don’t think I would have made it,” said victim James Victor.
Victor still has numerous cuts and bruises, but is just thankful that he is alive.
AN Allonby man’s decision to have an early night saved the life of an elderly neighbour.
Matthew Glencross, 20, of The Square, Allonby, returned home from a night out at Cockermouth at about midnight on Friday to find smoke billowing from the home of 84-year-old John Wilson next door.
Mr Glencross woke his father, who had a key to Mr Wilson’s house, and the two men rushed to save their neighbour.
“We didn’t see any flames,” Mr Glencross said, but added that it was impossible to see anything through dense smoke.
Mr Wilson, who has lived in the same house all his life, tried to flee the house when a smoke detector was activated late on Friday night but was unable to find the front door through the smoke. He was trapped inside until his neighbours arrived to lead him to safety.
Matthew’s father, who declined to give his name and denied suggestions that their actions were heroic, said he and Matthew had not done anything that any other good neighbour would not do.
He said that Mr Wilson was lucky Matthew had returned home from Cockermouth early.
Mr Wilson used his Careline system to alert the service that he was in trouble.
“He’s usually a lot later than midnight,” he added.
He said the fire seemed to have started in a kitchenette and the damage, apart from smoke damage, was largely confined to that part of the house.
“At no time did we see any flames, nor do we know how the fire started,” he said.
Mr Wilson was given oxygen at the scene and admitted to the cardiac unit at the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven.
He was later moved to a general ward and Mr Glencross said he was expected to complete his recovery at Maryport’s community hospital.
Joe Little, Workington group manager for Cumbria fire service, said: “This man suffered severe smoke inhalation and had to be given first aid. He is lucky to be alive.
“If it had not been for the brave actions of his neighbours, the outcome could have been totally different.”
A collection of Mr Wilson’s toy cars was blackened by the smoke but Mr Glencross said he thought they would clean up.