Prison Inmates Save Three Boys from Drowning

Prison Inmates Save Three Boys from Drowning

On January 31, 2013, three prisoners at the Larch Corrections Center in Washington State were out picking up trash at a local park when they heard screams coming from nearby Salmon Creek. They spotted three children drowning after capsizing their canoe in turbulent waters. The three prisoners (Nelson Pettis, Jon Fowler and Larry Bohn) immediately jumped into the frigid waters to save the young boys.  The three prisoners were successful, rescuing all the boys. The boys just kept saying, “Thank you,” over and over.

Author’s Perspective: I was surprised at myself for being surprised that three prisoners would risk their lives to save three strangers. I think Jon Fowler said it best, “Just cause we’re incarcerated, doesn’t mean we’re bad people. We made some bad choices in our lives, but we’re still, we’re just like everybody else.”

And, that’s when it hit me – we are all capable of making good choices and bad choices. Just because you made a few bad choices, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make better choices at a later time. This story makes this point obvious and true. We all make poor choices in our lives and it doesn’t make us all bad. Most of us mature and strive to be a better person. Therefore, it should not astonish us that this is true of prisoners. While there might be some individuals that are incorrigible, most of us evolve and want to be better individuals. This is true for lawyers, teachers, factory workers, insurance agents and yes, even prisoners.

Your Turn:
1) Were you surprised that prisoners would risk their lives to save complete strangers?
2) Do you think that “bad” people are capable of making positive choices and that “good” people are capable of making poor choices?
3) If you found yourself in a similar situation, how would you have handled this situation? Would you be willing to sacrifice your life for someone you don’t know?

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