By Pem McNerney
On July 5, John Koobatian, 13, of Madison, was visiting Chatfield Hollow with his friends and family. The same day, Casey, an elderly 15-year-old black lab was also visiting Chatfield Hollow, in nearby Killingworth, CT, with her owner.
Koobatian's mom, Nadine Koobatian, says Casey went for a swim in the pond and became disoriented.
"In a frantic attempt to reach shore, she misjudged and instead made her way out to the center of the pond. Unable to swim further, she frantically thrashed and then succumbed to the water," Nadine Koobatian says." John, watching with his family and friends from the shore, realized that Casey was drowning and her owner was not able to swim out to rescue her. Without hesitation, John swam out to rescue Casey."
19-year-old Sam Porter from Australia has saved an incredible <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/sam-porter-australian-tee_n_1596701.html" target="_hplink">three lives in three years</a>. Last month, he pulled a drowning woman to safety; last year, he pulled a woman out of a car wreck; in 2010, he jumped in front of a train to pull a suicidal teenager off the tracks. Porter is currently training to become a cop.
17-year-old Graceann Rumer put her driver's ed lessons into practice when her bus driver had a heart attack while driving and fell to the ground. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/philadelphia-teen-gracean_n_1234395.html" target="_hplink">Rumer took over the steering wheel </a>of the bus, swerved away from oncoming traffic, and onto the side of the road. Her heroic actions saved more than three dozen passengers from what could have been a fatal accident.
Cody Decker and Luke Vaughn
Michigan teens Cody Decker and Luke Vaughn were on vacation in Palm Coast, Florida when they saw a car crash into a pair of trees in front of their eyes. The vehicle was quickly engulfed in flames, but that didn't stop Decker and Vaughn from risking their own lives to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/07/michigan-teenagers-cody-d_n_1408605.html" target="_hplink">pull the two passengers to safety</a>. (Both were treated for critical injuries, but survived.) "We're just two ordinary guys helping people out," <a href="http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/Michigan-teens-rescue-couple-from-burning-car-in-Florida/-/1719418/10276310/-/oyggguz/-/index.html" target="_hplink">Decker told ClickOnDetroit.com</a>.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/colby-dauenhauer-teen-survives-plane-crash-father-girlfriend_n_1542719.html" target="_hplink">Texas teen Colby Dauenhauer</a> was a passenger in the small plane his father was flying when the plane crashed and burst into flames. Although his father did not survive the crash, Colby was able to pull the two remaining passengers, his girlfriend and her father, to safety. Both are in critical condition.
Fifteen-year-old Austin Smith was working on a car with his grandfather when suddenly, the car collapsed, pinning his grandfather underneath. Adrenaline kicked in and Austin was able to lift the 2,000 pound car high enough for his grandfather to crawl out. "I was just so scared," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/austin-smith-michigan-tee_n_1293877.html" target="_hplink">Smith told WDIV</a>. "I didn't know what to do."
Danny Manes and Gary Ramirez
When 17-year-old Danny Manes noticed a suicidal-sounding status update from an acquaintance on Facebook, he<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/03/teens-save-life-using-fac_n_1253301.html" target="_hplink"> reached out through Facebook chat to help</a>. He asked his friend Gary Ramirez to get involved, as well. Together, they chatted with the teen for six hours, finally calling 911. Police arrived on the scene and helped the teen to safety. Together, Danny and Gary started <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/03/teens-save-life-using-fac_n_1253301.html" target="_hplink">"Hopeline for Teens," </a>an anonymous advice page on Tumblr for teens struggling with depression, bullying, sexuality, and other issues.
17-year-old runner Meghan Vogel was in last place in the 3,200-meter run when she caught up to Arden McMath, who was showing serious signs of exhaustion. Rather than sprinting past McMath to avoid coming in last, Vogel put her arm around her shoulders and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120605/us-runner-s-sportsmanship/ " target="_hplink">helped the ailing runner </a>make the last 30 meters to the finish line. Her good sportsmanship made news across the country.
In December, Danae Rodriguez and her family were in a car accident that left her father seriously injured. Rodriguez helped her father until the paramedics arrived at the scene and was an integral part of his recovery process. This spring, the father-daughter pair <a href="http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/2012/04/30/daughter-saves-dad-takes-him-to-ffhs-prom/" target="_hplink">attended Rodriguez's senior prom</a> together.