Eagle Scout helps rescue amputee who fell into Wayne County lake

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 19:14:54-04

A Doylestown man is crediting his prosthetic leg and an Eagle Scout for saving his life after he fell into Dohner Lake in Chippewa Township Monday evening.

Adam Shannon was on a solo fishing trip, but around 7:15 p.m., a rotting seat on his eight-foot boat suddenly snapped while he was trying to pull anchor.

"The bolts broke loose and the seat flipped off and I went over the side as I was grabbing the anchor," Shannon said.

He estimated the section of the lake was 18 feet deep and he was in the water about 15 minutes, wondering if he would survive.

Shannon's below the knee prosthetic on his left leg came loose, but stayed in his pants. That allowed the 45-year-old leg to use it as a flotation device.

"Thank goodness there was air trapped in the rubber mechanism of my prosthetic and it floated."

Shannon lost the leg in 2015 after a drunk driver in Green ran a red light and knocked him off his motorcycle.

In the lake, Shannon was getting tired, and alternated his hands from the boat to the prosthetic. He hasn't gone swimming since the accident and doubted he could make it to shore.

"I was struggling, definitely struggling," he said. "Frankly, I started praying."

He grabbed his soaked cell phone from his pocket and dialed 911.

However, he didn't know if the call went through. It did, but Shannon couldn't hear the operator.

On the recording, Shannon can heard screaming, "I need help! Anybody! I'm in the water!

In the meantime, the Krause family on Portage Street was enjoying dinner on their deck when 14-year-old Emily Krause heard the yelling.

The teen grabbed her binoculars and spotted Shannon in distress several hundred yards away in the 17-acre lake.

Emily's father and brother, Jeffrey and Matthew Krause, raced for their boat and headed onto the lake towards Shannon.

Once they reached him, Matthew — an Eagle Scout — handed Shannon a life jacket.

"It was like an angel. I just heard, 'I'm coming to get you. I'm coming to get you. I'm coming to help you.'"

The family wasn't able to pull Shannon onto the boat, so he clung to the boat as the father and son rowed back to shore.

By that time, Wayne County deputies had arrived and body camera video captured the end of the rescue.

"It could have ended differently. I believe God had a part in this and had us sitting up here. I don't believe in coincidences," Matthew Krause said. "I didn't realize he had only one leg until we climbed out of the water and I said, 'Oh boy, he's missing something there.'"

Matthew doesn't consider his family to be heroes, but Shannon feels quite differently.

"If they hadn't been there, I really don't know that I'd be doing this interview right now."