12-year-old Abington girl becomes a hero
By Chris Nelson, Enterprise correspondent

ABINGTON — Sunday afternoon was ending just like a normal summer afternoon at Island Grove Park for 12-year-old Stephanie Arcand of Abington — until a little boy got into trouble by wading out too deep into the water at the park's pond.
Stephanie was enjoying a warm day at the park around 5:15 p.m., swimming with her family. She had just gotten out of the water and was drying herself off when she noticed someone flailing in the water about 15 feet from the shoreline.
"I just got out and was wrapped up in a towel because I was cold," she said Monday afternoon. "I looked out to the water and saw a little boy splashing around in the water. I threw my towel (down) and shoved my bag of popcorn that I was eating into my brother's hand and ran into the water after (the little boy)."
Neither Stephanie nor her mother, Diane, knew the identity of the boy or his mother, except that his name was Ross, he was 2 years old and lived in Holbrook.
Stephanie said the boy was slipping into water that reached up to his neck and was not able to keep himself afloat.
"He was splashing around and slipping — the water was up to his neck. I ran in after him and held him up," she said.
After Stephanie held the boy above the water, his mother ran in and thanked the girl profusely. It was not clear why his mother did not react earlier, but Diane Arcand said she thought her daughter got there first because the boy's mother might have frozen.
"I think what (his mother) did was probably freeze for a second," she said. "I don't want to accuse his mother of anything — it was a scary situation, and I'm proud of my daughter."
Coincidentally, the water was relatively clear of swimmers because the pond's lifeguard had left a few minutes earlier, at about 5 p.m. Though swimmers are allowed to enter the water after the lifeguard has left for the day, they are required to exit the water before the lifeguard leaves to hear a warning that they are swimming at their own risk, a normal procedure.


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