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Message Icon Event: Burlingtn Scuba Instructor Hnored for Rescue - Event Date: 19 Aug 2008 Post Reply Post New Topic
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Quote scubazine Replybullet Calendar Event: Burlingtn Scuba Instructor Hnored for Rescue
    Posted: 20 Aug 2008 at 03:13

Burlington, Vermont - August 19, 2008

More than a year ago, a Burlington scuba diving instructor jumped into the water to save the life of a drowning boy. Tuesday, that instructor was honored with a first-of-its-kind award in Burlington.

Andrew Richardson received applause from nearly two-dozen firefighters and bystanders when he accepted the Frank Austin Life Saving award.

Officials say it happened at the fishing pier of Lake Street. A 15-year-old boy jumped into the water after his friends teased him about not being able to swim. Richardson was on the surface nearby instructing a scuba diving class when he heard screams for help. He immediately went under the water and began looking for the boy. After a three minute search, Richardson found the victim in about 20 feet of water, at which point-- he says-- instinct took over.

"I rolled him over, eyes and mouth were open, lifeless, at which time I brought him to the surface," Richardson explained. "He has a second chance. Not too many people get a second chance and he has one. So I hope he makes the most of it."

"It's hard to impress the fire department. Good job," Battalion Chief Terry Francis said to laughter.

This is the first time this award has ever been given out. It was named after Commissioner Frank Austin, who believed that ordinary people who take extraordinary measures to help others should be recognized. Austin died earlier this year.

Richardson was a bit shy about accepting this award. He says he's not a hero-- he just did what anybody else would do in that situation.

Richardson has not heard from the boy he rescued, and he has been unable to find out anything about him since he's a juvenile. Every time he asked officials for some information he was turned away. He's hoping that one day the boy will come forward and they will be able to meet-- but under better circumstances this time.

Rachael Morrow - WCAX News


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