Park Manager John Rittenhouse called the actions of Ranger Buck Russell “vital in the resuscitation of the victim” and said that he was very proud of the ranger.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Officer Daniel Richardson declined to identify the six-year-old victim given the youth’s age. He said that the boy’s father, identified by the Paducah Sun as Thomas Sarles locked his son in the cabin of his boat to go to the marina store.
“He came back five minutes later and found his son in the water by the boat next to the slip. A park ranger performed CPR on the victim and he was taken to Trigg County Hospital,” said Richardson, who added that the boy was not wearing a personal floatation device.
Fish and Wildlife Captain Larry Ashford said that passengers are not required to wear a personal floatation device if a boat is not underway, but said that their usage is a good idea at all times on a boat. When underway, all boaters and passengers must wear the devices if under age 12. Ashford said all Fish and Wildlife officers must wear them while aboard boats.
Rittenhouse said that the victim hails from Clarksville where his mother is stationed. She is currently on a tour of duty in Iraq. He added that the family purchased a new 30-day contract at the marina for their boat.
Read full details on the rescue in this week's Cadiz Record.