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Kent Police honor four for Lake Meridian rescue
Four people received Kent Chief of Police Awards this month for their life saving efforts earlier this summer at Lake Meridian.
Philip Petersen, Bart Mattson, Nikki Malcolm and Sonny Ahluwalia were honored at the Kent City Council meeting on Aug. 20 by Chief Ken Thomas for their response to a kayak accident July 4 at Lake Meridian on the East Hill.
Tony Barger, Jacki Schackman and two small children were kayaking on the lake when one of the children became restless and the kayak tipped over, according to Kent Police.
Barger and one of the children fell into the water. Neither wore a life jacket. They each struggled to stay afloat. Barger, who is paralyzed from the waist down, became entangled.
Nearby, Petersen and Mattson saw the kayak capsize. They heard Schackman yelling for help as she pulled the child from the water. But Barger was still clinging to his kayak, gasping for air and in distress.
Malcolm dove from the Petersen boat and delivered a life jacket to Barger. She stayed with him, helping him to stay afloat as Petersen maneuvered his boat alongside the pair. Mattson, Petersen and Ahluwalia then pulled Barger into their boat.