A New York high school basketball player who helped rescue a stranded fisherman in Lake Ontario was kept from suiting up for a game because his heroics caused him to miss the team bus.
Lucas Patchen was among ten volunteer firefighters in Clayton, New York, who rescued a stranded fisherman from a drifting ice slab Saturday.
However the mission caused him to miss the Thousand Islands High School team's departure for a road playoff game later that day.
The school requires that any player not riding on a team bus call the coach or athletic director.
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Lucas Patchen was one of about ten Clayton volunteer firefighters who rescued a stranded fisherman, pictured, on a drifting block of ice in Lake Ontatio Saturday morning
Lucas tried to tell his coach that he was involved in a rescue, but he wasn't interested
Overhead pictures from a rescue helicopter capture the drama of what happened on the ice
The teen told WWNY-TV that he was unable to call while the rescue was underway.
'I showed him a picture that the LifeNet helicopter took of the boat and us out there and he proceeded to tell me that it was an administrative issue and it didn't have anything to do with him,' Lucas told the station.
School policy dictates all students who don't ride the team bus to the game must call the coach and have a parent drive them to the game.
Lucas even texted his teammates to let their coach know once he was back on shore, minutes before the bus left - but it made no difference.
'I was pretty much irritated that the fact that he said that and that I just took my own gas and my own car to Indian River to support the team,' said Lucas.
Lucas also plays high school basketball and the ice rescue caused him to miss the team's bus that morning for a playoff game
When Lucas showed the team coach pictures of the rescue he was brushed off and benched
Lucas says he was unable to call anyone while on the ice rescue mission
Thousand Islands Superintendent Michael Bashaw says the district is proud of Lucas, but that the student knew the policy. But Bashaw also says he's willing to consider changing the rule.
Lucas's dad Michael Patchen posted his anger on Facebook at hearing his son had been sidelined and said that he was going to speak to the principal.
'I'm going to vent a little on this one. Lucas Patchen goes to a fire call for an ice rescue this morning and missed the bus to Sandy Creek for a basketball game. So, he drives his car there, gets there long before the game only to be told by coach Lalonde that he can stay in his dress clothes and sit the bench because he missed the bus.
Lucas even texted his teammates to let their coach know once he was back on shore, minutes before the bus left. He is upset at how his coach treated him
Michael continued. 'Lucas told him why he was late for the bus, showed him a picture of the Lifenet helicopter and the coach says' that's not my problem'. Well coach, I'll be at your school to talk to your boss and we'll see why you chose to bench Lucas for trying to help save someone's life.'
Others have commented as to how Lucas should be rewarded for his bravery and not punished for missing the team bus.
'Lucas did the right thing and drove to the game after responding to a call for the fire department.and for Lalonde to bench him is wrong. Lalonde pardon my language is a asshole', one commenter wrote while another summed the entire episode up: 'Some rules are met to be broken....'
The rescue in question involved an ice fisherman who became stranded on a slab of ice that broke off from the main body in Lake Ontario's Chaumont Bay.
Steve Rubyor, 35, of Henderson, was out on the ice for over an hour before Lucas and the other rescuers could get to him.