Two young Hudson men became inadvertent heroes while just chilling out after work on a recent Friday afternoon.
Cody Pattschull, 23, and Drew Boor, 25, headed to Willow River State Park after work at Laser Magic on a hot, humid, mid-summer day. They cooled off in a place above the big falls where they could let the water rush over them on the edge of a deep hole.
It was one of Pattschull's favorite spots. "I've been going there (Willow River State Park) for years and during the summer I cool off in the river about every other day," he said.
Boor was a relative newcomer to all the nooks and crannies of the small and big falls and secret spots along the tributary. "I was sitting on the edge of a deep hole," he said.
The water rushed down the river over a smaller falls through a kind of funnel in the rocks and swirled around the hole at a pretty good pace, said Pattschull. The big falls below them created a constant roar.
The cool, relaxing, summer scene was about to be disturbed.
They heard a youngster scream above them in the river and in an instant a boy lost his footing and was sucked downstream. He landed in the pool between Pasttschull and Boor.
"There's almost like an undertow in the hole that draws you down," said Pattschull.
Without thinking much, Boor took quick action and hoisted the kid out to safety.
"He was about, maybe, 6 years old," he said. I was just more scared for the kid than anything."
Pattschull said what appeared to be the boy's father was on the shore and keeping an eye on a young girl. "The boy was in the river talking to his dad when he apparently lost his concentration and went shooting down the river. It was so quick," he said.
Boor said the man ran along the river bank after the boy and was slipping and falling on the rocks. "I was glad we were there," he said.
The only person that wasn't scared was the little boy. "When he got out of the river he said, 'That was so fun,'" said Boor.
"The man thanked us and shook our hands when we went to our cars. We never got anybody's name," said Pattschull.
The rescuers didn't make a big deal out of their effort. They really didn't tell anybody about the event until several days later and couldn't remember for sure what day it happened when asked by a reporter.
The certain thing is they were at the right place at the right time for one little boy who was headed down river toward the big falls on a hot Friday afternoon.