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State Trooper Honored for Saving Drowning Girl

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On the topic of honoring first responders, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers honored a state trooper for his heroic actions in Whitney Point Friday.

Trooper Donald Atkinson was commended for his quick response this past July for swimming to the rescue of a 14-year-old girl who became trapped near the intake tower of the Whitney Point Dam.

Atkinson entered the water and swam to the dam’s outflow tunnels and located the victim.

The teen was treading water in front of the dam’s intake and was unable to swim out of tunnel due to the strong current.

"We had a very dangerous near fatality, we have had two previous fatalities this year across our 15 projects and that is two too many. The actions by Trooper Atkinson prevented another fatality at one of our projects and we are very proud of his actions and really of the troopers here in the state of New York" said Colonel Ed Chamberlyne District Commander, Army Corps of Engineers.

The Army Corps of Engineers also wanted to remind the public of the dangers of swimming in areas near the dam marked with warning signs.