Help find mystery Eagle Scout who saved a life

Joshua Allen and his family were on vacation in the Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite National Park when Josh fell over a waterfall and needed to be rescued. He later learned he had broken nine ribs and punctured his lung.

A mystery man — an Eagle Scout, it turned out — saved Josh’s life, delicately pulling him from the water. And now Josh and his wife, Anna, are trying to identify the hero so they can properly thank him.

The date was Aug. 11, 2016. The location: Rainbow Pools near Groveland, Calif. These popular swimming holes are along the south fork of the Tuolumne River.

Josh noticed his son was too close to a waterfall and tried to prevent him from going over. Unfortunately, both fell over.

The son was fine, but Josh was severely injured by the rocks. That’s when the mystery man jumped in.

“An Eagle Scout, whose name I cannot recall, pulled him out of the water using a lifeguarding hold and guided him along the periphery of the pool to shore,” Anna says. “Josh would have drowned otherwise.”

The Eagle Scout tested Josh for a concussion and stabilized him on the shore.

Josh was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Modesto, Calif., where he learned he had nine broken ribs, a punctured and collapsed lung, a fractured scapula, a broken vertebra, several fractured vertebrae, and a fractured and dislocated hip.

“You can imagine the level of sensitivity and care that it took to fish him out of the water,” Anna said.

I reached Josh by email over the weekend, and I’m happy to report he’s doing fine.

“I am recovering well and able to speak,” he writes.

Josh and Anna agreed to let me share their story here, because they want to learn the identity of this good Samaritan.

“If you are able to identify the Scout who pulled me out, I would love to send him something, if he is open to being contacted,” Josh writes.

Anna says it well: “He really epitomizes the values and goals of the Eagle Scout organization.”

Are you the mystery man?

If you aren’t the mystery Eagle Scout, please share this post far and wide. Let’s find him!

If you are, please leave a comment below and I’ll connect you with Josh. If you’d rather keep your heroic act more private, I understand. Email me at

Whoever you are, you deserve a mountain of praise for your bravery. Well done.

Hat tip: Thanks to NESA’s Ryan Larson for the blog idea.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.