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EXCLUSIVE: Rower, Good Samaritan Speak Out After Schuylkill River Rescue

(credit: CBS) Walt Hunter
Eyewitness News Reporter Walt Hunter is one of the market's ...
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By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A woman rowing on the Schuylkill River is thrown into the water.

Her cry for help, brings a Good Samaritan racing to the rescue.

The dramatic scene played out Thursday morning near Kelly Drive and West Hunting Park Avenue.

Andrew Litts says he was running along Kelly Drive around 8 a.m. when he heard a splash, and, minutes later, a call for help.

In the Schuylkill River, he saw Emilia Rastick, whose boat had flipped, trying to swim to shore as her boat floated away.

Litts says he immediately began heading for the water, but first had to find access to the the Schuykill, which is separated from the Drive by a wall and heavy brush.

Suddenly, he says, he spotted a stairway from long ago, carved in stone, leading to the waters edge. Moments later, Litts was at the rower’s side, helping her safely to shore.

The Philadelphia Police Marine Unit later retrieved Rastick’s boat.

Neither rower, nor rescuer, required hospital treatment, but Rastick’s says, with the river’s waters running faster because of last night’s storms, she was glad for the help.

“He was amazing,” she told CBS 3’s Walt Hunter in an exclusive interview.

Rastick says she will now continue her training for the time trials for the World Dragonboat Championships. Litts is training for a half-marathon.

But, its pretty much agreed, long before either hits the finish line, it was a winning effort on the Schuylkill.

 

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