Reporting Steve Miller
AURORA, Ill. (CBS) –Two Aurora police sergeants and four young men were honored today for their lifesaving work on the Vermilion River near Oglesby on June 28.
Two Aurora police sergeants and four young men were honored today for their lifesaving work on the Vermilion River near Oglesby on June 28.
First, a man and his 10-year-old son who were rafting got caught near a dam.
Four young men, 11 to 14 years old, who were also rafting saw the father and son in trouble and tried to help.
They were able to get the 10-year-old in their raft.
As they did that, the father was able to get to shore. But the boys and the 10-year-old were now trapped in the dam themselves.
Two off-duty Aurora police officers came along in their kayak and went into action.
And one of them, Sergeant Dan Eppard – because he had saved a life at that very dam four years ago – was prepared with something he did not have that day in 2009.
“At that time I didn’t have a throw rope. From that point on, I purchased a throw rope and promised myself to always keep it in my boat. I’d actually practiced with it at home a couple of times to make sure I knew how to throw it. It just seemed like the common sense thing to do.”
Everybody got out safely – and today in Aurora, the police and the Illinois Conservation Police gave commendations to the two officers and to the four boys.