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Police Officer Rescues Teens From Des Plaines River

Nancy Harty Nancy Harty
I was a fan of WBBM Newsradio 780 long before joining the staff as a...
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RIVERSIDE, Ill. (CBS) – A west suburban police officer rescued some teens from an overturned canoe last week.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports Riverside Police Officer Michael Panek saw three kids walking waist-deep in the Des Plaines River on Friday, near Barrypoint Road.

“I asked them if they were alright, and they were fine at that time, but their canoe was flooded with water. It obviously tipped over on them somehow,” he said.

Panek said as the boys – two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old – got closer to shore, the current picked up.

“They were complaining of the cold, and the kids couldn’t pull themselves out because they were so cold,” he said.

One boy managed to get out of the river on his own, and Panek climbed onto the nearby dam and pulled the other two to safety.

Panek – a Navy SCUBA diver with more than a dozen years in active duty and the reserves – said it wasn’t a crazy situation, but certainly could have gone bad.

The boys, who were on spring break, were taken to the hospital as a precaution. They were treated and released.