CRAWFORD'S PURCHASE, N.H. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A Haverhill man nearly lost his own life when he jumped into a New Hampshire river to save a teenager in distress.
Freddy Poisson, 36, stepped off a cliff and jumped into the Ammonoosuc River Saturday to rescue 15-year-old Liam Hines, a Milton native, who was struggling after getting caught in the current.
Poisson himself had jumped from the spot on Upper Falls hundreds of times, but this time was life-changing.
Poisson says he jumped knowing Hines was the same ages as his children and hoped someone in his position would do the same.
"That look in that poor kid's face and calling for his mom and daddy, ‘Mommy, Daddy, help please!' That just went through my bones, and I just jumped in," Poisson recalled.
Poisson was able to grab hold of Hines' foot and hoist him up onto a nearby rock saving his life; however, it was then, he put his own life in jeopardy.
"He kicked me, accidentally panicking. And when I pushed back, the current pulled my legs like two grizzly bears, and I'm 300 pounds, 6'3", and it started spinning me and spinning me and spinning me," Poisson said.
Poisson was under water for seven minutes before CPR began, 10 is the window for any hopes of survival.
"I panicked and I guess I blacked out or took in too much water and that was it. And I came out face down 80 feet or so down the river and that's when I was pulled to safety," he added.
Luckily, Boston University student and EMT Abriana Tasillo was nearby. She pulled Poisson out of the water and performed CPR until he was revived.
"To me, she's an angel," Poisson said.
Poisson is also thanking a greater good, God, for the chain of rescues.
"It's amazing feeling like I have another chance at life," Poisson said.
Poisson sustained some broken ribs from CPR and some bumps on the head from hitting rocks under water. Hines is physically fine, his father says, but still shaken up from the whole ordeal.
Tasillo spoke with FOX 25 on the phone and took the humble road saying she did what she had to do and was glad she could help.