Two Missouri boy scouts were recognized as heroes for saving a drowning woman’s life.
Dominic Viet, 15, and Joseph Diener, 16, were given the “Citizen Lifesaving Award” in July by Columbia Fire Chief Andy Woody.
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The boys were riding their bikes on Friday, June 25, when they heard someone calling for help — a woman clinging to a basketball hoop in the flooded waters of Hinkson Creek.
“We didn’t know if they were serious or not,” Joseph told TODAY. “She said it twice before we got over there.”
The teens told bystanders they were trained to be able to help her, as both had achieved their swimming and lifesaving benefit badges, so they jumped in and were able to help her as first responders arrived.
“We didn’t have time to think, her head was barely above the water and we could see her sinking more down every second. We didn’t think about the risks, we had to get her out,” Dominic told CNN.
“We went in and there was a light current, and we had her grab onto our shoulders and we swam back to shore,” Joseph added to CNN. “She laid there for about five minutes, coughing up a lot of water and just not moving or talking.”
Firefighters described the conditions as very dangerous after a heavy storm dumped six inches of rain, flooding the park where the boys rescued the young woman.
Monica Viet, Dominic’s mom, sent his father to search for the pair when the parents got concerned when they didn’t hear from them as another storm was approaching.
Viet, however, told CNN she got a text from her son: “Coming home soon, just saved a woman’s life Mom.”
The city recognized their “selfless and courageous act of rendering aid in a sudden and dangerous situation which resulted in preservation of a life.”
The fire department added: “We are very fortunate and proud these young men are a part of our community.”