Inmates jump in to help kids after canoe overturns

Inmates jump in to help kids after canoe overturns
The creek where three boys tipped their canoe.

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Inmates on a work crew jumped into action Wednesday when a canoe overturned in a creek near Klineline Pond in Vancouver, sending three children into cold, fast-moving water.

A 16-year-old boy was able to swim to shore, firefighters said. The other two children involved, who are 8 and 11 years old, only managed to swim to some wood debris in the water.

Nancy Simmons with the Larch Correction Center said inmates Larry Bohn and Nelson Pettis were doing work as part of a maintenance crew around noon when the kids fell in Salmon Creek.

Bohn and Pettis jumped in the water to help the stranded boys. Eventually firefighters showed up and were able to bring the boys safely the shore.

The two inmates safely made it out of the water on their own. All five people in the water were taken to area hospitals to get treatment for mild hypothermia.

It was not immediately clear if the children were wearing flotation devices. Simmons said she did not know what Bohn and Pettis were incarcerated for.

Simmons said Pettis was also involved in subduing a man who was assaulting a forestry officer some months ago.