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Pastor helps rescue 3 East TN boys who fell through the ice | News

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Pastor helps rescue 3 East TN boys who fell through the ice

Update Sunday 12:30 p.m.:

The three boys who fell through ice on Watts Bar Lake Saturday morning have been released from the hospital.

According to the Nurse Supervisor on duty at UT Medical Center, the three boys were discharged Sunday morning. Earlier Sunday, they were listed in stable condition.

Saturday night, one remained in serious condition, and two were listed in stable condition.

The three were rescued by a pastor and his son, and according to neighbors, were in the frigid water for nearly an hour after ice cracked while the boys were trying to fish at a birthday party.

Emergency crews, including Roane County Rescue Squad, also attempted to reach the boys but the pastor and his son were the first to be able to reach them.

Update Saturday 11:55 p.m.:

An East Tennessee pastor who helped pull three boys from an icy lake Saturday says he was glad to help.

Neil Crass, pastor at Big Emory Church in Roane County, along with the help of his son, Hunter, used their boat to access the icy lake after several others tried to help the boys.

"You can see a lot of the people really panicking and you can see the boys 75 yards into the river," he remembers.

The Crasses, along with a group of men, eventually reached the boys, pulled them from the cold lake, and wrapped them in clothes to keep them warm. The ice was so thick, they had to keep breaking it to move to the rescue and back to land.

They credit their faith for a successful rescue.

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

Late Saturday night, the conditions of the boys at UT Medical Center still had not changed.

Update Saturday 4:45 p.m.:
Two of the three East Tennessee boys rescued after falling through the ice on Saturday are now in stable condition, according to UT Medical Center. As of 4:45 p.m., the third boy was listed in serious condition.

Original story
(WBIR) An East Tennessee community is crediting a local pastor, and his son, for rescuing three young boys who fell through the ice Saturday morning.

The incident happened around mid-day at Watts Bar Lake.

Neighbors told 10News a boy who lived next door was having a birthday party when he, along with two friends, went out onto the ice to go fishing. The rest of the children at the birthday party stayed on shore.

Neighbors said the three boys, between the ages of 12 and 14, fell through the ice and started screaming for help.

According to Roane County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips, the boys were able to grab onto a buoy until help arrived.

That's when one of the other children waiting on shore ran to the neighbor's house for help.

The neighbors said they called 911 and also called a local Preacher, who has a boat, to see if he could help rescue the boys.

Emergency crews also responded to the scene, but Chief Deputy Phillips told 10News it was the civilians that, after a few tries, were finally able to get the young boys out of the water.

Phillips said the boys may have been in the water for up to an hour.

He said the incident appears to be an accident.

The condition of the three boys has yet to be released.


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