NORWICH – After receiving a 911 call that four children were having difficulties in the Chenango River on Tuesday, two Norwich police officers and a Chenango County sheriff's deputy responded quickly to ensure their safety.
Police said the call came in at approximately 6:04 p.m. and within minutes Officer Brian Wightman and Officer Matthew Roberts from the Norwich Police Department, along with Sergeant Teddy Ellingston from the Chenango County Sheriff's Office had located the children and formulated a plan to retrieve them.
Wightman said, "When we arrived one of the children managed to free themselves from the current, but the other three had begun drifting down the river."
The children were approximately 12-13 years old, he said, and were visibly struggling in the water.
As emergency personnel responded to the call they had difficulty first locating the youths as the current moved them along the river. Police found one who had managed to swim to shore and were able to find the rest, who were still caught in the water a short distance away.
The three remaining youths had struggled against the current until the water brought them to a shallow spot in the middle of the river. Still hip deep in water the teens were able to stand in place but were unable to re-enter the deeper water and strong currents surrounding them. They stood at the spot until police were able to swim out to help them.