A Hero Emerges From Acadia Tragedy 

Last Sunday Todd Stanley, accompanied by his wife, mother, and 8-month-old daughter, went for a walk in Acadia National Park. Like many of the onlookers that day, the Stanley’s wanted to see the big waves produced from Hurricane Bill. “There was a big wave coming and through an opening in the forest,” says Stanley,”I looked to see the wave crash and when I looked, I noticed a lot of people in that area, saw the wave, saw the people, then…no people.” He watched in horror as people were swept away in an instant by the giant wave. For Todd Stanley that was the moment of truth. “I just ran toward this area as fast as I could and when I came to this area, I heard screams to my left and went down into a crevice where there were several victims…there was a 14-year-old-boy just below this tree that was just getting to his feet.” Stanley helped the boy to safety, but that was just the beginning. “The second victim that I assisted was in this zone right here, and as I was headed her way, I heard my mother or someone up above yell that there was another big wave coming so I crouched down in this area and held my breath and got pretty wet.” Stanley narrowly avoided being swept away by another giant wave. Other bystanders had gathered on the top of the mountain as Stanley began cerrying victims to the top. An unidentified man assisted Stanley. “I don’t know if he was one of the victims or just a bystander like me,” Stanley said of the stranger.”The next pair of victims was in where this big rock was and one of them had bad facial injuries and a very badly gashed or broken leg.”As his wife, mother, and daughter waited at the top of the hill, Stanley continued to help victims, aided by an unidentifeid man, that were not only injured but in some cases trapped. “Their position between a big rock and a bunch of trees was such so we couldn’t just move them right up the hill from that point to carry her back to the ocean was really rough,” Stanley says, “so I left and went back up the hill and came down from behind her and we figured a route out sideways then we carried her up the hill another 30 feet.” After this experience, Stanley says he has a new appreciation for search and rescue personnel. “When they consciously go into a that situation, they have some training to deal with it, but every situation is different so I have an increased level of respect for them.”Among the victims that Stanley helped pull to safety was Sandra Kuhatch-Axelrod. She’s the mother of 7-year-old Clio Axelrod who lost her life in the incident at Acadia. Stanley says he would like to see Acadia post signs warning of the danger of storms such as Bill.