Boys rescue woman from Croton River

August 12, 2011 9:23:22 AM PDT
In Westchester County, a late afternoon swim for a group of friends turned into a risky rescue on the Croton River.

Their cries for help were echoing down the Croton River.

A mother and her young son were struggling to stay above water.

"All of a sudden we heard people screaming at us in Spanish and we look out and we see flopping. Two people were drowning," said Dan Brecher.

Brecher and his four friends were swimming at nearby Mayo's Landing in Croton on the Hudson.

The quick thinking 8th graders immediately headed toward them, battling the current all the way.

25-year-old Joanna Criolla of Greenburgh had apparently jumped in to rescue her young son who had fallen off a float.

But when the young boys reached her, she was nearly unconscious.

"He was carrying her all by himself so I jumped in to help and he was taking in a lot of water so I had to help take the girl back to shore," adds Brecher.

They also pulled another woman to safety who had apparently been trying to help with the rescue.

Police quickly arrived, helping to bring all three to safety.

The swimming area, which has no lifeguards, has been the scene of three deaths in recent years.

The boys are proud to be part of the rescue, but humbly brushing off any compliments.