TN pastor, son rescue boys from icy lake - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

TN pastor, son rescue boys from icy lake

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ROANE COUNTY, TN (CBS46/CNN) -

Being at the right place at the right time is what Pastor Neil Crass credited for his part in rescuing three boys from an icy lake in East Tennessee.

The incident happened Saturday morning at Watts Bar Lake near Crass' home.

According to police, three boys between the ages of 12 and 14 were at a birthday party when they decided to leave and go fishing and fell through the ice. Some of the children at the party heard the screams and ran for help.

Pastor Crass said he'd just returned home when he found out what happened.

"I showed up, came in and walked into the house and my daughters told me that there were some boys that had fallen into the river," said Crass.

The pastor and his son, Hunter got their boat and hurried to the scene. They found the boys clinging to a buoy.

"You can see a lot of people panicking and you can see the boys about 75 yards into the river," said Crass.

The father and son, along with a few other good Samaritans, helped get the boat on the freezing waters.

"I knew we would get the boat in the water, said Hunter. "And, just get in there as fast as possible and get out there and make sure they were safe."

Emergency crews made it to the scene shortly after, but it was the Crasses and the other men who were able to get the boys out of the water after a few tries.

"Hunter grabbed one young man, Hunter grabbed another by himself, and I grabbed one by myself. We immediately started taking our clothes off and wrapping them around them. That's when they broke down and began to scream and I don't know if it was relief or what," said Crass.

Police said the three boys may had been in the water up to about an hour. They were rushed to the hospital and released Sunday morning.

Pastor Crass' motto has always been that everything has a meaning and a purpose.

"We thank God we were able to take part in it, and how everything was so synchronized, and God pulled those things together."

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