Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Congratulations to 12yo Tucker Egan

Well done, Scout.

Rupert Scout Egan earns national award for heroism

By Laurie Welch - Times-News writer 
RUPERT — A swimming trip that could have ended in tragedy last summer instead displayed one Boy Scout’s heroism.
Tucker Egan, 12, was presented a rare Boy Scouts of America honor for saving 9-year-old Savannah Garza from being swept away by the Snake River on Aug. 17. On Thursday, he received the Meritorious Award for Saving a Life and the Honor Medal in a National Court of Honor. Snake River Council Executive Director Paul Tikalsky told those at the banquet in Rupert that less than 1 percent of Scouts receive such meritorious awards.
Egan was building a raft and swimming with friends near Rupert last summer when a boat raced by, dousing the shoreline in its wake. It knocked 9-year-old Savannah Garza off-balance and swept her into the river’s current.
“She was kind of smiling and laughing like earlier,” said Tucker, a West Minico Middle School student. “Then I saw her scared face and I was like, whoa.”
Savannah’s mother, Monica Garza, was on the riverbank at the time.
“Tucker just immediately responded,” Garza said Thursday as tears welled in her eyes. “It happened really fast and I was just thinking ‘please don’t let anything go wrong.’”
Tucker went after Savannah, bounding over the wake until he could only touch the riverbed with his toes as he reached her. The water was over her head.
She grabbed him, and he told her to calm down and hold on as he used the current to reach the bank.
“I believe the training in Scouts helped me stay calm and to know what to do,” Tucker wrote in his Scout report on the incident.
Tucker’s father, Ron Egan, said Tucker had taken water rescue training with his Scout leader, Eric Badger, only weeks earlier.
“It’s pretty significant what he did and, as young as he is, to have that kind of fortitude to jump on the situation,” Tikalsky said.
The award is presented for unusual heroism and skill in saving a life accomplished with considerable risk to the Scout’s safety.
“He’s my hero — he’s like a big brother,” Savannah said.
The honors aren’t over for Tucker, either. He’s been selected to go to Boise on Tuesday to meet with Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
“We ask kids all the time, ‘Who is your hero?’ And if someone asked me right now who my hero is, my hero is my son,” said Ron Egan.

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