CLAYTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York high school basketball player who helped rescue an ice fisherman from Lake Ontario was kept from suiting up for a game because the heroics caused him to miss the team bus.
Lucas Patchen was among the volunteer firefighters in Clayton who rescued a stranded fisherman from a drifting ice slab Saturday, WWNY-TV reported.
He missed the Thousand Islands High School team’s departure for a road playoff game later that day.
The school requires that any player not riding on a team bus call the coach or athletic director. The teen says he was unable to call while the rescue was underway.
He texted his teammates to let their coach know once he was back on shore, minutes before the bus left, WWNY reported.
Lucas’ father, Michael, said his son shouldn’t have been benched for choosing to help save someone’s life. “I think the school maybe should change their policy. The school is supportive of community involvement, so the fire department should fit in perfectly with that,” said Michael Patchen.
Thousand Islands Superintendent Michael Bashaw said the district is proud of Patchen, but that he knew the policy.
Bashaw said he’s willing to consider changing the rule to help students who are volunteer firefighters.
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