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Right place, right time: Radford University employee saves two people from the New River

July 22, 2012|Holly Pietrzak | WDBJ7 Anchor/Reporter

RADFORD, Va. — It was just a regular day on the job until someone needed help. A Radford University employee sprung into action to save two people this week.

It was just another day of work. This one just happened to be along the beautiful New River. On Thursday, Sean McDonough and three other ground maintenance worker for Radford University were trimming near the river bank. McDonough heard some calls for help near the river.

"I was busy working like the rest of us and next thing I know Sean's getting himself ready to hop in the river. I thought, oh gosh, what's going on?" said Tray Etheridge, who witnessed the rescue.

McDonough was alerted about a woman and child trapped on the other side of the river, where it's deeper and the current is strong. They had fallen off an inflatable tube, and couldn't swim.

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McDonough didn't hesitate; he jumped into the river to help.

"Instead of calling for help because I knew nobody would get here in time, I took off my shirt, jumped into the water and swam to the other side and got them and drug them back to shore," McDonough said.

The child and woman make it back to safety. They were fine and it's a first for McDonough, who happened to be in the right place, at the right time and didn't hestiate.

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