Davidsonville Teen Recognized for Rough Water Rescue of Firefighter
Update (3/9; 11am): Sen Ed. Reilly phoned The Source this morning to give a statement. Reilly said that Ryan’s action was brought to his attention by Ryan’s neighbor. Reilly said that the entire state Senate was with Reilly in recognizing his “selfless action when going to the aid of the boat and the EMT/firefighter.”
Reilly said that he phoned the man Ryan had saved, Peter Rosenko in Virginia. Rosenko told Reilly that he surely would’ve drown if Ryan had not come to his aide.
“This from a man who saves lives every day,” Reilly said.”His quick actions and decision saved a man’s life. Ryan is a great young man.”
Reilly said while the two were talking at the recognition, Ryan shared that the rescue experience was life-changing for him—and has made him think twice about a career as a firefighter or EMT.
Original Post (3/9; 6am): Earlier this week, Ryan Kleintank, a senior at South River High School, was presented with a Senatorial Resolution from the Maryland Senate for acts of bravery and courage. The award was presented at the State House on Monday by state Sen. Ed Reilly (R).
The recognition was given to Ryan for heroic efforts last August at Rocky Gap State Park where he saved members of a capsized sailboat and a firefighter who got tangled in sea-grasses trying to aide with the rescue mission.
The following letter, sent to Reilly’s office is by Rick Kleintank, Ryan’s father. He details the heroic actions of his son that day:
My family and I went camping at Rocky Gap State Park last August. While eating dinner, we noticed a sailboat moving very fast on the water downwind. The wind had been blowing very hard all day causing very rough surf including white caps on the water. Shortly after, the boat was trying to go back up tacking against the wind, but not making much progress. We eventually lost sight of the boat and continued with dinner.
After dinner, my son Ryan decided to go out in his kayak. He went around the cove and out of sight from us when he saw the sailboat still trying to sail back against the wind. Eventually the wind and rough water capsized the sailboat. Ryan paddled across the lake to offer help to the boater.
At the same time Peter Rosenko was watching from the shoreline and decided to go into the lake fully clothed to help and give assistance to the boater. Peter is a firefighter and EMT in Fairfax County, (Station 16) with over 20 years’ experience.
Unfortunately, [Rosenko] was unaware of the danger in the water. While swimming, his legs and shoes got tangled in the thick grass and weeds which held him parallel in the water as the rough surf spilled over his head causing him to take in water. Peter’s 12-year-old son stood on the shoreline witnessing the situation and made the call to 911.
Ryan saw that the boater was safe, but then saw Peter struggling in the lake. Ryan wasted no time and paddled over to Peter to rescue him. Luckily Ryan got to Peter in time and allowed him to hang on to the side of the kayak while he untangled his legs from the grasses and weeds. Ryan then paddled him safely to shore while the fire department, DNR, police and a Medivac helicopter arrived.
I did not realize the importance of what Ryan did until the next morning when Peter came to our campsite to show appreciation to Ryan. He explained the seriousness of the situation that he was in and explained that there were people fishing close by that ignored his calls for help. He further told us that if Ryan hadn’t come to his aide, the outcome could have been very different.
Congratulations Ryan! It’s a truly deserving award that highlights an unselfish act.