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Scouters in Action: He helped people caught in a flash flood

He Helped Two People Caught In A Flash Flood

Joe Paneitz, 35, and several friends were tubing on Texas’ Frio River when a passerby warned them on an approaching flash flood. They quickly relocated to higher ground as the river swelled to three times its normal size. Surging water and dangerous debris rushed into the area.Paneitz’s girlfriend spotted a woman floating face down in the water. Paneitz immediately jumped in to rescue her, pulling her back to shore.People on shore administered CPR to the woman for 45 minutes, but she did not survive.Paneitz helped comfort the woman’s grieving friends and family, and he later led the group in a prayer on her behalf.Not long after, Paneitz saw another woman struggling against the powerful current and jumped in again to bring her safely out of the water.The flooding prevented rescue crews from reaching Paneitz, his friends and the other stranded people until the next day. Helicopters evacuated everyone from the area.Eagle Scout Joseph Paneitz, an adult leader of Troop 64 in Humble, Texas, received an Honor Medal with Crossed Palms for his actions. It is Scouting’s highest award for bravery.


“Scouters in Action” subjects come from the National BSA Court of Honor. If you know of an act of heroism that should be recognized, contact your local BSA council office for a lifesaving or meritorious award application. Note: Consult approved safety guidelines, as actions depicted here may not precisely follow standard procedures.

Read more stories of Scouters in Action here, and Scouts in Action here.