Volunteer fire chief offers ‘Thank You’ to mystery fisherman who rescued boy from lake

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COSSAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Washington County volunteer fire chief says he wishes to thank an unidentified fisherman who helped rescue a boy from the cold waters of Cossayuna Lake. The chief says the rescue should also serve as a safety reminder.

The precarious situation happened Sunday afternoon on Cossayuna Lake in Washington County. Two boys around the age of 10 were on kayaks in water that is about 6 to 8 feet deep.

“I don’t know if they had permission from their parents or how that worked, but there is an inlet and they got out to the main part of the lake, and that’s when they got into trouble,” said Chief Pat Donahue, of the Cossayuna Volunteer Fire Department.

One of the kayaks had capsized and the child was left clinging to the small watercraft in the cold water.

Donahue says he and members of his department, as well as volunteers from Argyle, responded within minutes to a 911 call for help from the other child’s mother, who lives along the shoreline. He says she called for first responders after getting a call from one of the kids.

“I met the mother, and she was frantic.”

But in those frantic moments, Chief Donahue says he could see a fisherman riding up to the boy and then plucking him and his kayak out of the water.

“Two of my guys went down through the woods and to the bank and received him and the boat, or the kayak. And they brought the kid and the kayak to the road to where we were.” 

Donahue says the child was checked out for hypothermia and was ok, but he says the boys did not know how to swim and were not wearing life vests.

He says the situation could have had a very different outcome had the fisherman not heard their cries for help.

“Very lucky kids. Very lucky kids. You know ,with the cold water, hypothermia, and not wearing a life jacket,” he added.

The fisherman, who was in the right place at the right time and rescued the boy, motored off before anyone could get his name.

NEWS10’s Anya Tucker asked Chief Donahue if he wished to thank the fisherman.

“I would like to thank him. He changed the situation where something could have been really bad. He helped out, and that’s great,” answered Donahue.

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