A 12-year-old boy is safe, thanks to the quick thinking and compassion of a Truro man.
David Richardson was biking in Victoria Park Thursday evening when he spotted a child who appeared to be going for a swim in the Mill Dam area.
“I noticed he was wearing a helmet and I wondered why a kid would be wearing a helmet in the water,” he said. “When I told him he didn’t need a helmet to go for a swim he took it off and threw it. He also pulled off his shirt and started running down the river bed.”
Knowing something was wrong, Richardson followed the boy and called for him to stop. The child continued to run for a while and scrambled about 25 feet up the embankment. He was preparing to slide down an area near the falls, with jagged rocks, when he finally stopped and listened.
“I asked him to stay, got his name and asked if I could go over and talk to him,” said Richardson. “It was slippery, but I got up next to him and talked. He was cold and shaking, he had cuts and his wrist was banged up pretty bad.
“It was a dramatic moment. If he had fallen from the area it would have been bad. He would have been badly injured or died.”
The boy told him he’d been biking earlier but had a flat tire. He didn’t explain why he got into the water.
Richardson remained calm and stayed with the boy. A couple of Truro Police officers arrived and one was going to try to go up the bank but it was so slippery they decided to call the fire service for help.
“A firefighter tied a rope around a tree and he was able to go down safely using that,” Richardson said. “I went down with him.
“It was just about dark when we got him out. My dad worked for a fire department and he told me it’s something special to be able to help with something like that. It really is amazing to be able to help.”