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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, August 7, 2008

Good Samaritan rescues woman stuck in her pond

By Zach Simeone

On Tuesday morning, Michael Vincent of Berne was on his way to work when he came upon a woman who needed help.

“I was just going up Route 20. It was about five minutes to 10,” Vincent said. “I was on my way to work at Joe Merli’s Manufacturing.” Vincent does carpentry work there two days a week.

“I looked over at the farm over there and I saw this lady’s head kind of bobbing up and down, and she was splashing her arms,” Vincent said, “and I said, ‘Gee, that don’t look right.’”

He then turned his car around and went back to see what had happened. He yelled to the woman and asked if she needed help, he said.

“I just got stuck,” said the woman. “I went to get water from the pond and I fell in.” She did not want to be named in the paper, and asked that her address not be revealed.

“She had her feet stuck in the mud with her boots on,” Vincent said. “So I said, ‘Well, I’ll see if I can help you to get out of here.’” She told Vincent of a ladder in her barn that might help in getting her out of the pond. Her husband had no idea that she needed help, Vincent said.

“It just had me thinking about the cliff rescue at Thacher Park last week,” said Vincent, who has worked at the park for more than 40 years. Eighty-seven-year-old Akiho Miyashiro had been at the park with his wife when he walked off into the evening’s dense fog. He was found dead the next day at the bottom of a cliff.

“I was just going by and saw the lady over there in the pond,” he concluded. “I’m no hero or anything.”

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