Ryan Elenz, 10, and his father James were fearful they might never be rescued after a rafting trip went bad and they became trapped in the Vermillion River this summer. But James Elenz, a Niles Police commander, held onto hope, and tried to infuse his son with hope that someone would come along and resuce them, the Niles Herald-Spectator and Channel 5 news report.
And help did come. This week Aurora Police Sgts. Rick Ahlgren and Daniel Eppard, were praised for their efforts, along with Graham Fath, 11, and Colin Fath, Matthew Grammas and Tyler Fredrickson, all 14, who all helped in the rescue effort.
The four boys were on their own raft and relized the Elenz' needed help. They jumped in to rescue them without hesitation for their own safety. They paddled upstream through the blazing current to get to them, and put Ryan on their own raft. James Elenz then swam for help, but his original raft swept up the other five boys up and into more dangerous currents down the river.
That is when the off-duty Aurora police saw them, and came to their rescue. The Elenz family praised them all for their help during a ceremony this week in Aurora.