Lakeshore News Tonight

Community Salute to Boy’s Rescuers

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August 29, 2013 — The family of a boy buried alive by a sand dune collapse at Mount Baldy this summer returned to Michigan City to pay tribute to the dozens of people who worked together to save his life.

Six-year-old Nathan Woessner was buried under 11 feet of sand for more than three hours July 12th along Lake Michigan’s south shore while there with his family from Illinois.

Click to see the report by Denise Turner, who attended the ceremonies this week that recognized the rescuers’ hard work that day, including Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Albers, “I’m honored to be in the midst of what I consider true heroes. People who came together to do what we try to do every day. Help someone who is in need.”

Albers says companies, organizations and emergency workers from across the region worked together July 12 with one focus: to save Nathan.

“The persistence to say keep digging, I don’t know if I would have had that, but thank God there were people who were there who said we can’t give up.”

Albers sees how that never-give-up spirit not only returned Nathan to his family, but it did something no one expected;  it united a community.

“In a special way, my friend, you have touched a community and brought a community together.”

NIPSCO Public Affairs Manager Angie Nelson saw the strength in the Woessner family, too, “Faith and Greg, you guys were so strong that day, and it was an honor to be there with you and sit there with you, and comfort you along with Chaplain Allan and pray with you.”

Fighting back tears, Nathan’s mother Faith Woessner acknowledged the people whose efforts saved her son.

“There are no words that we can say that would adequately tell you how much we appreciate all that you did for our son; and, how hard you worked to bring him back to us.”

Nathan’s father Greg Woessner told the workers he is a proud dad, because his son was brought back to him alive.  “He’s alive because of the diligence and grace of your hands and by the grace of God and I thank you, I cannot thank you enough.”

Nelson noted how people who came together to rescue Nathan says saving him changed their lives, “From the bottom of my heart, it was just truly a blessing that day.”


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