Everyday Heroes

Man Risks Life To Save Boy From Drowning

When he heard the boy calling for help, he didn't hesitate to jump in the freezing water to save him.


Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear carpenter belts.

That's certainly the case for Scott Lingerfelt of Alexander County, NC who jumped into a freezing lake last week to save a six-year-old boy. Lingerfelt was working on a house near the lake with a few other carpenters when the men heard what they thought was a cat shrieking nearby.

When they realized the sound was coming from the water, they saw a boy struggling to tread water about 40 yards from the shore. That's when Lingerfelt jumped into the water fully clothed and swam to reach him.

WSOC-TV

Aside from swimming in his work boots and heavy carpenter pants, the water was a chilly 45 degrees – enough to take his breath away.

“It was cold," Lingerfelt told WSOC-TV. “I said, 'Lord, you gotta help me with it. Give me the strength to get across there.' As I got across, I could see (the boy) and started talking with him saying, 'Bud, you're gonna be OK. We're gonna get to you.'"

The other carpenter and the boy's older brother (who arrived moments later) called 911 and drove to the other side of the shore to get to the closest swimming dock.

Lingerfelt (pictured below, right) was able to swim with the boy to the dock where his older brother pulled him out of the water.

WSOC-TV

The boy, who has autism, had wandered away from his home up the road and accidentally fell off a swimming pier. His mother saw him fall in, but because she couldn't swim, she rushed off to get her older son to help.

After the boy was out of the water, he was taken to the Catawba Valley Medical Center and given a clean bill of health.

His mother said she's thankful and amazed that someone she didn't even know would risk his life to save her son.

“I was wondering if he was dying, because I couldn't save him," she said. “I'm a panicker, and I panicked."

WSOC-TV

Lingerfelt, the other carpenter and the boy's older brother will be honored at a ceremony at the Alexander County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

As for Lingerfelt, he said he was just doing what he would want someone to do for him.

“God put us there at the right place at the right time," Lingerfelt said. “I was doing something I hope someone would do for my boy."

If you know of someone who's a hero (they don't have to have saved someone from drowning) we'd like to hear about it. Sign up at Sparkt and tell their story, or let us know by clicking here.

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