Good Samaritan plays key role in saving young girl

(PHOTO: Stephanie Bruneau)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) —  A 12-year-old girl and her dog were rescued over the weekend after she fell out of her canoe into Long Island Sound.

The operators of a ferry that was passing by are among those being credited for saving her life.

Keith Mutch also played an integral part as he first spotted the girl struggling in the waters through some binoculars.

Mutch first noticed her coming from a cove but quickly saw she couldn’t control her canoe from heading out toward the Sound. She wasn’t wearing a life jacket and had a dog with her.

Mutch used his Ham radio to alert the coast guard and a nearby ferry about the trouble.

“The report was two to three foot seas and the wind speed was about 20 knots,” Jeff Thor of the U.S. coast Guard said.

The crew of the John H worked quickly to get the girl a life ring and keep her close by until the Coast Guard boat arrived. That crew pulled the girl out of the 45 degree water. She was already in the early stages of hypothermia.

“She’s very, very, very lucky,” Thor said. “This is part of the reason why we joined the Coast Guard, to save lives and it’s very rewarding.”

Mutch later tracked down the girl’s dog, which had swum to shore. Both are now safe and sound thanks to the actions of many.

“The boat crew, the ferry, and as well as the Good Samaritan, they all did a phenomenal job in rescuing this girl,” Thor said.

Even in the Long Island Sound, it’s hard to control a canoe. That’s why this is such a good reminder to always wear a life jacket. They even make them for dogs.

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