Local fire chief rescues teen from river

CHESTERTOWN, N.Y. – The Horicon Fire Chief rescued a young teen from the Schroon River Thursday.

Fire Chief James Hayes was driving north on Schroon River Road when a young male ran into the road coming from the Schroon River yelling for help. The young man said his friend, a 14-year-old male, had become entangled in a tree in the rapids of the river.

Hayes radioed in the emergency around 3 p.m. as he was in Horicon Car 295. Hayes then put on a life jacket, used a throw bag and tied it to a tree and entered the rapids in an area known as Tumble Head.

Hayes said the boy was pinned by the current to a downed tree. Hayes was able to pull the boy free and got him to safety on the shore along the road, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said the 14-year-old was rafting down the Schroon River with a 15-year-old friend. Both boys were in tubes and had personal flotation devices on during the incident.

The victim said his life jacket and tube became entangled in the downed tree in the rapids and strong current. He said the life jacket pulled him under water, but he was able to take off the jacket and cling to the three.

The current was strong enough to rip off the boy’s swimsuit and possibly fractured some ribs while being pinned against the tree, police said.

The 14-year-old was taken to Glens Falls Hospital with minor injuries.

Hayes is the acting fire chief for the Horicon Fire Department and also a member of the Warren County Dive Response Team.


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