Principal Jumps in Icy River to Save Autistic Boy

Both are doing fine after rescue
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2012 10:49 AM CST
Principal Jumps in Icy River to Save Autistic Boy
Elementary school principal Gwen Rhodes in Rochester, N.H.   (AP Photo/Liz Markhlevskaya/Foster's Daily Democrat)

The Union Leader of New Hampshire has a nice tale of humble heroism: A school principal jumped into the Cocheco River and rescued a 10-year-old autistic boy who had fallen through the ice. The boy had run away from a teacher and through nearby woods before walking onto the river's ice. Gwen Rhodes followed his footsteps until she heard him scream. “He looked at me and he said, 'Help.’ I said his name and said, 'Don’t move’ and just then the ice cracked and at that point he’s going into the water, so I just reacted to get closer to him,” she told the paper.

She managed to swim with the boy through the ice and get him up a steep embankment before rescue crews arrived. Both were treated for hypothermia and bruises. “I think what I want people to know is I did what I did because I was in a circumstance where I had to think quickly,” she said. “Which is what an educator does every day.” (Read more principal stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.