Benjamin M. Blostein

A fishing trip could have turned deadly if it weren’t for the quick actions of Benjamin M. Blostein, a 30-year-old commercial roofer of Royal Oak, Michigan. On June 6, 2019, Blostein was fishing the Big Manistee River near Marilla Township, Michigan, when a 71-year-old man who was fly-fishing nearby asked for his assistance in wading from knee-deep water to a nearby island. Blostein waded into the 62-degree water and grasped Kim J. Fairchild’s hand, but as Fairchild moved toward the island, he lost his footing in the swift current, fell into the water separating from Blostein, and was carried downstream as his fishing waders filled with water. Blostein fully entered the water and swam after Fairchild. He reached him and struggled to tow him to safety until another man on the bank grabbed Blostein’s hand and pulled. As others tended to Fairchild, Blostein ran barefoot to meet responding authorities to direct them to the remote scene. Fairchild recovered after spending one night in the hospital.