MANATEE -- Two Boy Scouts helped save a young boy who suffered injuries from a boating accident this weekend.
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About a half mile west of Fort Hamer Park shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported a 12-foot vessel on the Upper Manatee River had struck a submerged object.
"After the vessel hit the object, it rolled to the right, which ejected both the occupants," said FWC Lt. Baryl Martin. "The juvenile was trapped on the motor which caused serious injuries."
As of 10 a.m. Monday, Lt. Martin said the 7-year-old boy was in critical condition and the adult, the other boat occupant, was in fair condition.
Caleb Savage, 21, assistant scout master for Troop 77, and Nathan Sisk, 17, of Troop 100, were working the 2016 Camporee for Scouts in the nearby area when Savage said they got reports of someone hurt in the river. With his backpack filled with medical supplies and extra dry clothes, Savage said he and Sisk got on a canoe with a trauma nurse and were later joined by a Manatee County Sheriff's deputy.
As they canoed up river, Savage said the group called out to see if they could locate those involved in the accident. After going around a bend, they came across a bystander on a small beach with the young boy in his arms. According to Savage, the bystander had pulled the boy from the water.
As the nurse began checking the child, Savage said he and Sisk opened his backpack to see what they could do to help. Savage placed a dry shirt over the shirtless child and used his jacket to elevate the boy's head. They also dressed him in dry pants.
According to Savage, the child was very pale.
"We suspect his chest had hit the end of the propeller," Savage said. "His breathing was non-productive ... we barely had a pulse and his heart rate was irregular."
The boy was airlifted to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.
Bill Lawrence, district director with the Southwest Florida Council Boy Scouts, said Savage and Sisk used skills they've learned from the organization to help.
"Not only did they act, but they thought it through and they did what they needed to do to be effective," Lawrence said. "I look at the several people who were involved in the whole thing ... everything came together to really make it work. It was a very stressful situation, but those two men kept their cool."
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to the FWC.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.