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Michigan Youth Wins Boy Scouts' Highest Honor for Pulling Friends from Frigid Lake

David Williams acted quickly, putting himself at considerable risk to pull his friend and her 3-year-old brother from icy lake last March.

The  Honor Medal with Crossed Palms is the highest award. David Williams was 9 when he pulled his friend and her 3-year-old brother from icy Michigan lake waters.
The Honor Medal with Crossed Palms is the highest award. David Williams was 9 when he pulled his friend and her 3-year-old brother from icy Michigan lake waters.

A Bloomfield Hills Boy Scout has received the organization’s highest award for saving the life of his playmate, a 9-year-old girl who fell through the ice near the dock on Wing Lake, where the two were playing and building a snow fort last March.

David Williams, a member of Cub Scout Pack 1046, called to his friend, Addy Hunter, and “she didn’t answer,” he told The Oakland Press. Both were 9 at the time.

He went to look for his friend and discovered that she and her 3-year-old brother, Hayden, had both fallen through the ice. Hayden was about five feet away from his sister and was bobbing up and down. David acted quickly and pulled the two from the frigid water.

When the Boy Scouts of America learned of his heroic rescue, they awarded him the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, which is “awarded in exceptional cases to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self,” according to the BSA web site.

Only 277 such awards have been presented since the medal was created in 1924.

Addy said that she didn’t know she had fallen into the water because the lake was so cold that “it felt warm.”

David helped her from the waters, then went on to rescue Hayden, who was in water over his head. The boy “was frozen” when he reached him and he was “super heavy” because his clothes were soaked with water, David told the newspaper.

The children warmed up quickly and hospitalization wasn’t required.

David received the award at the Eagle Scout and Silver Award Recognition Dinner Feb. 18. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was a special guest

Now a fifth-grader at Bloomfield Hills Middle School, David says he wants to be a vascular surgeon – the same profession as his grandfather – when he grows up.


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