Monica Viet of Columbia, Missouri, was starting to worry about her son.
Powerful storms had recently rocked the area, leaving behind deep floodwaters that continued to rise. Her son and his friends had gone out to ride bikes and see the damage. With more storms on the way, Monica texted him to come home right away.
As it turns out, she needn’t have worried. Her son, 15-year-old Dominic Viet, sent her a reply that said, “Mom, I just saved a woman’s life.”
Dominic and his friends had taken their bikes to check out the storm damage. Many parts of the city were overflowing with water, including the local park. Officials warned everyone that the floodwaters were extremely dangerous. Not only were they fast-moving, but they could also contain foreign materials and substances, making them risky to traverse.
The teens were keeping a safe distance when they rode past a basketball court that was flooded almost up to the rims of the hoops. Suddenly, they spotted a woman in a bathing suit clinging to one of the poles. She was calling out for help, and it took them a few moments to realize that she was seriously in trouble. Dominic and his 16-year-old friend, Joseph Diener, looked at each other and knew they needed to take action.
Both Dominic and Joseph are Life Scouts, the final Boy Scout level before Eagle Scout. They had both earned lifesaving badges that included water rescues, and as they glanced around at the other concerned bystanders, they knew they were the closest thing to heroes this stranger had.
“We didn’t have time to think, her head was barely above the water and we could see her sinking more down every second,” Dominic said. “We didn’t think about the risks, we had to get her out.”
“We were like, ‘We can swim, we’re trained for this,'” Joseph told Today. “Then we were just like, ‘Let’s go.’ And then we just ran right in.”
Together, they jumped into the water and fought the current to tow the drowning 18-year-old woman to shore. “There were some currents trying to pull us down too, because — I don’t know — it’s not normal water,” Dominic added.
Once on dry land, the woman began to throw up water. First responders quickly arrived and took her to the hospital, where she is recovering.
The two Boy Scouts are now being hailed as heroes for risking their own lives to help a stranger, but they are modest about the rescue. “I feel like if you’re able to save somebody like that,” Joseph said. “I feel like you should because you’re, you never know when somebody’s going to call somebody else or who’s going to come.”
Dominic and Joseph’s troop master said being prepared for emergency situations is emphasized in the Boy Scout training. He hopes the teens will get special badges for their extraordinary actions that day!
How brave are these young men? They took personal responsibility for the situation they encountered and relied on their training and skills to save the day. We’re so glad they all emerged unharmed!
Share this story to thank Dominic and Joseph for saving a life.
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