Firefighter rescues boy from icy creek

January 21, 1994|By Peter Hermann and Andrea F. Siegel | Peter Hermann and Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writers

An Annapolis firefighter stretched himself across ice-covered Weems Creek yesterday afternoon to rescue a 7-year-old boy who had fallen into the frigid water and had managed to climb out and cling to a sailboat until help arrived.

Capt. Robert Rawls, holding one end of a pier, reached the youth with his feet, allowing Kenneth Goss of Annapolis to climb up his body and across his back until he was safely on shore.

"He was just far enough out where you couldn't reach him," said Capt. Leonard Clark, a spokesman for the Annapolis Fire Department.

The youth was taken by ambulance to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he was treated for hypothermia and released.

The Goss youth was one of several children and teen-agers to run into problems with ice on Anne Arundel waterways, which in many places have not frozen solid enough to walk on, fire officials cautioned.

County firefighters and police rushed to Arnold yesterday afternoon when they received a report of teens riding bicycles on the partially frozen Magothy River.

And Wednesday, a dog and a girl who tried to rescue it were pulled from Lake Ogleton, outside Annapolis, by a friend of the girl.

"Many people are assuming that the ice is solid all the way across," said Battalion Chief Gary Sheckells, a county fire department spokesman. He said firefighters have responded to many calls for people falling through ice over the past two days. None has resulted in serious injury.

The incident involving the Goss youth occurred about 12:20 p.m. in front of a house in the 300 block of Dewey Drive.

Captain Clark said the youth was visiting a friend at that address and was playing on the frozen water near shore when the ice gave way, plunging him into chest-deep water.

Fire officials said that, after only a few minutes in the water, the boy climbed onto a sailboat that was frozen in the ice, but he could not make it back to shore. He clung the boat until Captain Rawls reached him.

An Annapolis police officer also was injured in the incident. Cpl. John Olienyk suffered a possible broken ankle when he slipped and fell down a steep, ice-covered embankment while trying to reach the pier. He was treated at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Just 30 minutes earlier, Anne Arundel firefighters were called to the Magothy River by women who thought some teens riding bicycles had fallen in. But Chief Sheckells said the youths were just sitting on the ice, in no danger when firefighters arrived.

In Wednesday's incident, Grace Platt said her golden retriever, Midas, fell through the ice of Lake Ogleton.

Ms. Platt telephoned 911 for help. Meanwhile, Brooke Madden, 14, and Lindsay Campbell, 16, saw the trapped dog and tried to help. Then Lindsay fell into the water.

Brooke used a pole to pull Lindsay out, holding the dog.

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