Fast Thinking Saves A Boy, Father, And Friend


Alan Zacharias has always been big on safety, knowing it only takes a second for things to go wrong.

"I'm always a nut for the kids wearing their jackets," said Alan Zacharias, experienced boater.

On Sunday, July 7th, it was by seconds that Zacharias, his wife and life long friend saved the lives of three people: a father, son and adult friend.

While boating along the Missouri river, Zacharias heard a scream.

"We went over there and saw the boy trying to hold up his Dad," said Diane Zacharias, nurse.

Alan quickly maneuvered the boat toward the two struggling people.

"He came on Diane's side and so Diane grabbed them first and I kind of held onto her," said Mary Beth Seyler, nurse.

Diane and Mary Beth have both been nurses for over 30 years. They could tell the father, John Isenhour, was close to drowning.

"He was blue, he was responsive though," said Diane.

"And Diane and I yelled like only nurses can, you don't let go of us," said Mary Beth.

After pulling Isenhour and his son to shore and to safety, Seyler and the Zacharias' went back and rescued the second adult who was struggling in a whirlpool.

Deputies said along the Missouri river there are several dangers to be aware of the whirlpools, the quick under currents and the big drop offs in depths.

The two children and the two adults involved in the near tragedy were not wearing life vests.

"The guy said many times you saved our lives," said Diane.

Isenhour was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies said without the fast thinking, this story of heroism would have been one of tragedy.

"We were just placed there the right time, the right place, right time," said Alan.


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