Kirk Vaughn is a little embarrassed by all the attention he's received since rescuing a 2-year-old boy who was in danger of drowning in Bush River last month.
The dramatic rescue occurred as a group of children was fishing off a neighborhood pier in Edgewood.
On Tuesday, the 13-year-old Californian, who along with other members of his family is visiting relatives in Edgewood, bashfully accepted the Harford County Council's commendation for his quick thinking in saving his grandmother's neighbor.
"The little boy got a casting fishing pole, and he was standing on the pier right about there practicing his casting," recalled Kirk on Thursday as he described scene while standing in his grandmother Ruth Felker's backyard, looking out over the murky river.
"There were a whole lot of kids out there with us," said Kirk. "We heard a splash, but we didn't think much of it -- until one of the little girls yelled. All you could see was the top of his hair. I was the closest, so I just jumped in and grabbed him and handed him to his mom."
Mrs. Felker said she is proud of her grandson.
"When I was 17 I saved two girls from drowning, but I never took credit," said Mrs. Felker on Thursday. "But I really thought he should get credit."
Mrs. Felker's daughter, Dawn, and son-in-law, Bill, say their son is a strong swimmer who often jumps into the family's own pool in Torrance, Calif., if he sees younger children having a hard time swimming.
"We were out, and when we came back the first thing he said was, 'Mom, I'm sorry I got my clothes all wet,' " Mrs. Vaughn said. "I was just glad he and the little boy were all right. I'm really proud of him."