Photo shoot turns into life-saving rescue on Wissahickon Creek

PHILADELPHIA - July 2, 2013

On the banks of the Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park Saturday, 30-year-old Becki Salmon and 33-year-old Matt Werner of Andorra spent 3 hours trying to get the perfect engagement photos.

"It was hot, it was humid, and it was awful in the sun," said Becki.

But timing is everything. Seconds after one particular snapshot, a little boy seen on the rocks stepped into the waters.

"He was obviously struggling to get back to the surface," said Becki. "His head went back. He was bobbing up and down. I knew he was going under."

Before her fiance and photographer could even make a move, Becki jumped into the creek fully clothed.

"If I would have had my wedding dress on that, that's what I would have been in the water in," she said.

The man behind the camera, Wyndmoor, Montgomery County photographer Ken Beerger, captured images of the dramatic rescue.

"Matt said, 'We got to get him!' and I turn to my right and Becki, she was out of sandals, she's doing the dive right into the water," he said.

"It was almost over my head where we were I had to swim to him," said Becki. "I grabbed him. I pulled him up into me, pushed him over my shoulder and immediately started smacking so he started throwing up water."

Because of all our recent rain, the waters of the Wissahickon were very murky. The bride-to-be says she knew she had to act fast or that little boy would probably never be seen alive again.

"She's has been very humble through this process, and she hasn't wanted to take the credit she deserves. But she definitely deserves the recognition," said Matt.

The 5-year-old's mother frantically rushed into the water, thankful for her son's guardian angel.

By the way, Becki just happens to be a trained lifeguard and a paramedic in Montgomery County. Her fiance is an EMT and the photographer is also a paramedic.

"Once you're an EMT for a while, you're in emergency services, you don't think you react, it's what you're trained to do," said Becki.

Becki didn't get their names, but found out the boy and his family were visiting from Maryland.

With the conditions of our flooded waterways, she says her memorable engagement photographs should serve as a reminder to all parents.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.