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,"
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
"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.