Prison inmates saved three boys from drowning in Washington creek

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Clark County, WA, United States (4E) – Three inmates saved three brothers from drowning when they jumped into the water to pull the boys to safety after their canoe capsized on a creek in Clark County, Washington Wednesday afternoon.

Prison inmates from Larch Corrections Center were finishing up their maintenance work in a park along Hazel Dell around 12:30 p.m. when they heard the boys screaming for help.

Firefighters said the brothers lost control of the boat while kayaking in Salmon Creek and it overturned.

Nelson Pettis, a member of the crew, said he removed his jacket and dove into the creek after seeing two kids in the water, he grabbed them and brought them to a tiny island in the middle of the river.

Larry Bohn, another crew member, also jumped into the water and assisted the 16-year-old to safety, before he made his way to help Pettis with the younger children.

Responding Vancouver firefighters and a Clark County technical rescue team brought the boys back to shore safely.

Jon Fowler, the third inmate, said he helped carry one of the brothers from the boat to shore.

All three boys and two of the inmates were transported to a nearby hospital suffering from mild hypothermia.

Reports stated the LCC staff said the working crew members are serving prison sentences for non-violent crimes.

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