Earlier this month three Whitman boys spotted a man floating face-down in Hobart Pond, and their quick thinking saved the man's life. Now the boys are being recognized for their life-saving actions.

The boys -- Eugene Hamilton, 13, Conal Morris, 12 and Neil French, 14 -- were honored Tuesday at the police station in a ceremony featuring Whitman Police Chief Timothy Hanlon, Fire Chief Timothy Grenno, police and fire personnel, and others.

On Saturday, June 6, the three friends were walking near the pond when they heard a loud splash. They investigated, saw a man face-down in the water, and immediately took action. “We were there within seconds of hearing the splash and knew we had to act quickly,” Hamilton said. "There was no one else around."

While Hamilton and French called 911, Morris approached the water. “I was in shock and really freaked out and scared at first, but then I thought to myself, ‘I can stop this. I can help him survive,’” Morris said. “I jumped into the water and held him up as long as I could until the cops arrived.”

Dispatchers from the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center told the boys to remain calm and provided medical instructions. They told the boys to turn the man onto his back and check if he was breathing. Once Whitman Police and Fire arrived, the boys remained to assist officers and relay key information to 911 dispatchers.

For their quick thinking and sound judgment, Chief Hanlon presented each of the boys with a framed “Lifesaving Award” on behalf of the Whitman Police and Fire Departments."In recognition of the immediate action taken on June 6, 2020 to summon assistance as well as perform life-saving measures that resulted in the successful rescue of a man in the water at Hobart Pond," the award reads.

Sgt. Patrick Burtt-Henderson, one of the first officers to first arrive on the scene, said the boys’ actions undoubtedly saved the man’s life.

“What they did was really outstanding, and was a testament to them and a testament to their parents,” Sgt. Burtt-Henderson said. “It’s not every day you see boys their age do something like this in that type of situation."

Whitman Police and Fire responded to the 911 call at approximately 3:45 p.m. Upon seeing the man in the water, Sgt. Burtt-Henderson and Patrolman Robert Hoey rolled the man onto his side to clear his airway. The man was stabilized with the assistance of Officer Chris Lee and Sgt. David Gregory.

Whitman Firefighters donned survival suits and extracted the man from the water with assistance from Officer Lee. The man was placed in a Whitman ambulance and transported to a nearby hospital. The individual, a 63-year-old from Whitman, was alert and talking during transport.

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