For every one-hundred Scouts that join the BSA, one will use their Scouting skills to save a life. Now, a pair of Blue Springs Scouts are being recognized for saving not one, but two lives on the Elk River. When David Kimbell and Sebastian De Los Reyes began their canoe trip on the morning of August 13, 2022, they had no idea the skills they learned in Scouting would be put to the test. The two Scouts were canoe partners for the day and set out on the Elk River in Noel, Missouri along with the rest of Troop 1175.
It was an ideal day on the water until the pair reached a spot where downed trees and a strong current made for a potentially dangerous situation. Instead of just continuing downstream, David and Sebastian decided to stop and help others safety maneuver around the hazardous area. All was fine until a kayak came barreling too fast into the area, hitting a tree and ejecting two female passengers. Struggling in the water, the two females began to try to fight against the current and were later swept under and trapped beneath the now capsized kayak. That's when David and Sebastian knew they needed to jump into action.
David immediately grabbed the rope of the kayak to stabilize it as best as he could. Sebastian then sprang to the aid of one of the women who was submerged beneath the surface. Struggling to breathe, he quickly grabbed her and pulled her above the water so she could get some air. As Sebastian continued to aid the first woman, David rushed to help the second woman who was being pulled downstream. Despite stumbling, David was able to get the second woman to safety and then returned to help Sebastian. Both David and Sebastian then assisted the first woman to dry land and provided minor first aid on the spot. Remaining calm, the two Scouts later helped both women gather all of their belongings and got them both safely back on the river.
Because of their bravery and quick thinking, David Kimbell and Sebastian De Los Reyes were presented the BSA's Honor Medal this week during their troop's court of honor. This extremely rare award is presented to Scouts who have demonstrated Scouting skills while performing an unusual act of heroism in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self. Congratulations David and Sebastian on being Scouts we can all be proud of.