Local Heroine Saves Man from Icy Waters

Despite her small stature, the off-duty firefighter pulled drowning man to safety.

When Rachel Edney left her home Saturday night, she wasn't planning on doing anything heroic.  The off-duty Prince George's County firefighter headed to the Riptides Restaurant near the Pier 7 Marina outside Edgewater, Maryland for a night out with friends.

Around 1:00 a.m., cries for help from a woman near the dock sent Edney and her friends running to the water.

60-year-old Charlie Tesch had fallen into the icy waters of the South River.

Tesch, who has a prosthetic leg, was walking on the dock with his wife and the dockmaster, when he lost his balance and fell.

The dockmaster tried to help, but Tesch began to sink, and was losing consciousness.

"At that point, I was essentially gone," Tesch told News 4.

That's when Edney arrived.  Without hesitation, she jumped into the water and pulled Tesch above the surface.

"All I could see were his hands, because he was under the water and his hands were holding onto the piling. I got in the water, and put my legs around him, and got him above the water and brought him over," Edney said.

Tesch, who lives on a boat with his wife, says Edney's heroic actions confirm sentiments he has always felt about marinas and the people there.

"There's not anyone here who wouldn't help me with problems I might have, and I'd try to help with problems they might have," he said.


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