Boy Scout hailed as hero for saving 12-year-old from rushing water

Zachary Bryant is a member of Boy Scout Troop 213 in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared,” and one Atlanta Scout lived up to those words when he saved a boy from drowning over the summer on a trip in North Carolina.

Zachary Bryant, a member of Boy Scout Troop 213, was whitewater rafting with other scouts on the Nantahala River in North Carolina in late July, when he pulled a 12-year-old boy from another troop from the cold, swirling rapids.

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During Monday’s Atlanta City Council meeting, Bryant was recognized for his bravery and he thanked his parents for being great mentors.

"I knew I just had to help," Bryant said.

Bryant will never take all the credit.

"I gave all the glory to God in this situation," Bryant said. "I was able to reach out with my left hand and pull him into the boat."

An Eagle Scout with Bryant safely guided their raft toward the boy and Bryant pulled him in.

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"Pulling him up with one hand. I mean, that's just the strength of God," Bryant said.

"It was an experience that I think every parent would have just been humbled by," Bryant's mother said.

Troop 213 is chartered out of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock said he is proud to see Bryant and all of his fellow scouts help others in the name of God.

"They are young men of faith, and they have deep compassion and empathy for others and they took all that, with a dose of courage, and they saved somebody’s life," Warnock said.

Bryant said he's no hero and that he's just doing what his heroes taught him to do.

"Ever since I was a little kid, my parents always taught me to help somebody out in need," Bryant said.

Troop members said they don't have any more plans for whitewater rafting and are hoping for a more traditional trip the next time.