Champion swimmer rescues young boy, man from sinking boat in NJ

A champion swimmer from New Jersey is being heralded for rescuing a boy, but she's a hero every day to her mom battling multiple sclerosis.

Video Transcript

- Until then, how about this? An amazing rescue in New Jersey. A woman dove into frigid water to rescue a young boy and two men from a sinking boat. It happened on Easter Sunday at Fayson Lakes in Kinnelon, New Jersey. Reporter Toni Yates spoke with the hero, and she has her incredible story, Toni.

TONI YATES: Hi, Joe. You know, we came out here to tell you more about a beautiful life-saving, selfless act. But when we got here, we found that there was so much more to 22-year-old Jennifer Watson that makes her extraordinary.

It was Easter Sunday, and Jennifer Watson's dogs, Peanut and Georgia, were outside and would not stop barking.

JENNIFER WATSON: Then I saw like a boat in the middle like right here. And it was like three-fourths of the way underwater.

TONI YATES: Two men and a child were in a panic on the lake, their boat sinking.

JENNIFER WATSON: The dad was screaming. And he was like, help me, help me. I have my three-year-old son.

TONI YATES: They had quite the hero rescuer. Jennifer has been a champion swimmer since the age of five.

JENNIFER WATSON: I swam out to them. And I like grabbed the three-year-old boy and swam back to shore.

TONI YATES: Her neighbors on the lake are not surprised at all that Jen hesitated not one instant to jump in.

COLLEEN LAZARUS: Not at all, not at all, Jen is a very selfless person. I mean, she's been helping her mom since she was a teenager.

TONI YATES: We found there is so much more to Jennifer's heart.

JENNIFER WATSON: Round the corner.

TONI YATES: Jennifer was born the year after her mother Lynne's diagnosis of MS. Lynn took her last step November 1, 2011, and Jennifer stepped in.

LYNNE WATSON: Jennifer is the most wonderful, generous, compassionate, kind.

TONI YATES: Selfless indeed in helping strangers in need and her love for her mother balancing home and her future.

COLLEEN LAZARUS: Since she was about 14 or so, she's been the primary caregiver for her mom. Jen, you know, had an opportunity to go away to school, but, you know, she chose to stay home and help her mom.

TONI YATES: And their neighbors are hoping that this GoFundMe page will make sure that the Watsons will not have to struggle like hiring home-health care, so that Jennifer can have more time for her classes.

LYNNE WATSON: And she's just so awesome.

TONI YATES: Jennifer has found a way to take classes for nursing because, of course, she wants to be a nurse. We're also told that the three-year-old kid and the men who were on the capsized boat, they are all going to be OK thanks to Jennifer. And again, that GoFundMe page for this family is Jennifer Watson and the Watson family.