- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Scott Leins said he didn't think twice when he saw two persons struggling in choppy waves on Chesapeake Bay after their canoe capsized Friday night.
The 18-year-old Calvert County Boy Scout said, "I've always been taught if you can help, go ahead and help."
Scott dove in and rescued the couple, securing the man to a flotation device and helping the woman to shore before she went under.
They "didn't realize what they were getting into," said Debora Huddleston, the assistant general manager of the Chesapeake Ranch Estates, which surround Driftwood Beach, where the incident occurred.
The couple, Dona and Thomas Cook Jr., rent property in the estates, Miss Huddleston said.
"[The water] was choppy — matter of fact, it was real choppy for the Bay — and they just overturned," she said.
Scott was finishing up work about 8 p.m. at Lake Lariat, located between the Patuxent River and Chesapeake Bay, when a security patrolman from the estates told him a call came in about a man and woman drowning off Driftwood Beach, about two miles away.
He jumped in the patrolman's car, and the two drove to the beach, which overlooks the Bay near the mouth of the Patuxent River. When they arrived, the man was clinging to the canoe and the woman was trying to swim but was being swept away by the strong current.
"They had been holding on to the canoe for a while, and the woman tried to swim to shore," Scott said. She appeared to be struggling — very close to "going under," he said.
The patrolman called the Department of Natural Resources police, who normally handle such things, but "we thought the DNR would take too long to get there," Scott said.
So he dove in and made a swim for the canoe. "Half the time I was doing scissors-kicks to get up above the waves to see where they were at," he said.
He got to the man first, secured him to a lifeguard flotation device and told him he was going for the woman. "As I got up to the crest of each wave, I could see her about 50 yards away."
"When I got to her, she was kind of upset, she was really scared," he said. "I did what's called a cross-chest carry." Holding the woman so her head was above the water, he brought her to shore.
The DNR police had arrived by that time, along with Solomons volunteer rescue squad, Scott said. "I don't know if I would call me a hero," he said. "Everybody who was here they all responded really well. All I did was jump in the water."
Al Smith, the chairman of the Southern Maryland District of the Boy Scouts of America, said, "Scott's quick thinking and prompt actions averted a tragedy."
"This is a wonderful way to cap off a Scouting career," said Mr. Smith, who plans to name Scott an Eagle Scout during the next few months. "Less than 2 percent of Boy Scouts around the world ever get to the Eagle Scout level. It's an accomplishment to be very proud of."
Scott, whose father died in 1992, is also waterfront certified by the American Red Cross. He said the Boy Scouts helped provide guidance and leadership in his life.

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