A young teen boy is now being hailed a hero after rescuing a five-year-old from certain death. The child fell off a cliff and ended up in freezing waters. Without immediate help, he could have easily died.
Fourteen-year-old Riley John was hanging out with a bunch of friends when he noticed a group nearby. “It looked like a mom with some kids who were climbing on some stuff, like a lot of ice,” he recalled. The next thing he knew, one of the kids in the group slid down a slope of ice. “We thought he was going to grab something, but he just fell, hit a rock, and went into the water,” Riley said.
The little kid in trouble was Mason, who is only five years old. He fell 15 feet off a cliff and ended up hitting a rock. Mason ended up falling straight into a fast moving creek. The water was cold, and without immediate assistance, Mason would have drowned. His mother, Kristen Hemlock, added that Mason was unable to swim at that time. “He said he tried to swim and it didn’t work,” she told Inside Edition.
Seeing the accident unfolding in front of him, Riley decided to take immediate action. “I really don’t know what I was thinking. I reacted as fast I could,” the teen recalled. Without thinking about his own safety, Riley proceeded to jump into the freezing cold water. As he did, he managed to grab hold of Mason. Soon as the pair reached a pool of still water, Riley handed off Mason to his friend Seth Gerrin, who then rushed Mason to the paramedics.
Ultimately, it was Riley’s quick action that managed to save Mason’s life despite harrowing conditions the boy faced. “They saved his life. He wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Riley. He put his life on the line for Mason,” Hemlock said. Luckily for Mason, he only suffered a few minor scratches during the ordeal.
Meanwhile, Hemlock wanted to thank Riley and his friends following the rescue. However, Riley had disappeared from the scene almost soon as he knew Mason was going to be okay.
Nonetheless, that did not stop Hemlock from tracking him down. She went on Facebook and appealed to a community group using a Facebook post. Riley’s grandmother ended up responding to her, allowing Hemlock to thank her hero.
Riley gets honored by Juneau Police Department.
Later on, the Juneau Police Department also honored Riley for his act of bravery. During a short ceremony at the Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School, both Riley and Mason received coins and certificates from Bullwinkle’s Pizza. Throughout the ceremony, Riley didn’t forget his friend who helped in the rescue. “Riley said little to the crowd except to make sure Seth received credit for helping him by taking Mason when the cold water sapped Riley’s strength,” the Juneau Police Department said.
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