13-year-old Boy Scout credited with saving father’s life after camping accident

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EAGLE, Idaho- Charlie Finlayson is a 13-year-old Boy Scout who loves the outdoors.

Last week, his survival skills were put to the test on a backpacking trip with his father.

“The plan was 12 days and we were going to just climb, fly fish a little bit, backpack,” Charlie told KTVB.

A week into the trip in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, plans changed.

David Finlayson was scouting out where to climb next when a boulder the size of a refrigerator crashed into him.

“At first, I was freaking out a little bit, but after a few minutes, I kind of calmed down and thought I have to help him out and get his sleeping bag and stuff,” said Charlie.

However, the 52-year-old was severely injured, suffering several broken bones and a large gash on his leg.

Charlie immediately grabbed the first-aid kit and helped bandage the gash before preparing to run back to camp for supplies.

“He was kind of getting hypothermic because he had lost so much blood,” Charlie said.

The next day, the pair made a slow trip back to their camp site.

Since there was no one in sight, the father and son team decided that Charlie would have to hike 13 miles by himself to get help.

“I was saying a lot of prayers before I left,” Charlie said.

Amazingly, he found two members of his church just three miles away from their campsite.

Charlie kept hiking and found another man, who ran the next eight miles to find help.

After being rescued, David underwent two surgeries but is expected to recover.

Charlie says they are already planning their next trip, but plan to bring a radio in case they need to call for help.

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