Volume 19 | Issue 32 | December 22 - 28, 2006

Trapeze heroes up for award

Jonah Spear and Paul Cannon, instructors at Trapeze School New York in the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park, were nominated last week by Reader’s Digest as the magazine’s 2006 Hero of the Year for their September 2005 rescue of a man from the Hudson River.

The rescue was covered by Downtown Express and others and the two rescuers were featured in the July 2006 issue of Reader’s Digest. Spear and Cannon are candidates for the award in an online poll at where readers can vote until Jan. 21, 2007.

The two instructors were on duty at the trapeze rig in the park at Desbrosses St. on the evening of Sept. 21, 2005 when police came, alerting them that a man had jumped or fallen into the water. Spear and Cannon spotted the victim, later identified as James Kue, 23, of Detroit, floating face down and Cannon jumped in with Spear following, carrying a line that police had tied to a rail.

Kue sank before the two rescuers got to him and Cannon had to dive twice in the murky water before he found him. Meanwhile, students of the program tossed a trapeze safety belt to the two instructors, who attached a rope to the belt. Kue was hauled out of the water. Andrea Alexander, a trapeze student, applied C.P.R. and Kue revived and was taken to Bellevue.

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