Eagle Scout Joseph Marsh was on vacation on the island of Maui with his family this past December. While swimming in the ocean and taking pictures of fish and turtles, Joseph displayed great courage and preparedness, for which he credits time spent Scouting with Troop 249 in Richland and serving on summer camp staff at Camp Grizzly near Potlatch, Idaho.
As he was returning to shore, about a hundred yards from the beach, he noticed a middle-aged man struggling in the water and shouting for help. As a trained BSA Lifeguard and recent Eagle Scout, as of December 2017, Joseph instinctively swam toward the distressed swimmer, who was already vomiting and
struggling to stay afloat. Knowing that approaching a struggling swimmer can be hazardous, he swam behind the man and assured him he would be okay. The man struggled for a moment as Joseph placed his left arm around his chest and began a one person rescue.
Joseph still remembers feeling the victim’s heart beating rapidly as he swam with him toward the beach, which was still roughly
a hundred yards away. When they finally reached shallow water, Joseph helped the man onto the beach, where he helped position him onto his side to keep his airway clear. He continued to vomit profusely, but with reliable beach staff now there to assist him, it appeared he was in good hands.
The victim had a limited command of English and was apparently a tourist at the resort, so Joseph didn’t have much communication with him, but the beach staff notified him later that the man was doing well.
Thinking back on the incident that day, Joseph says, “I wasn’t scared then, but now I appreciate that I did what needed to be done. I was considering working as a sales representative this summer. Now I am committed to be a lifeguard again at Camp Grizzly. Since earning [my] Eagle Scout, I really want to continue my Scouting career. I treasure the friends, skills and experiences that Scouting has given to me.”
For his heroic actions that day Joseph Marsh has been presented the BSA Medal of Merit—another incredible example of a young man PREPARED FOR LIFE through Scouting in the Blue Mountain Council.
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