Benjamin M. Blostein helped to save Kim J. Fairchild from drowning, Marilla Township, Michigan, June 6, 2019. Fairchild, 71, was fly fishing in chest waders while standing in a knee-deep section of the Big Manistee River when he concluded that he needed assistance to wade safely in the swift current to the nearby island where, Blostein, 30, commercial roofer, was fishing in a separate party. Fairchild asked Blostein for help in returning to the island. Blostein waded into the 62-degree water and grasped his hand, but Fairchild lost his footing. They separated, and the current carried Fairchild downstream into deeper water until he reached a point where, motionless, he bobbed out of reach of a fisherman at the near bank. Blostein returned to the island and ran to its downstream end, then re-entered the water, following Fairchild, whose waders had filled with water. Ultimately, Blostein swam to Fairchild, whom he grasped. Blostein struggled to tow Fairchild, who was larger than him, to the bank until the fisherman, in waist-deep water, grasped Blostein’s hand and pulled him, towing Fairchild, to safety. Blostein then helped Fairchild expel water, assisted with moving him by kayak to a safer location, and ran barefoot to meet responding authorities to direct them to the remote scene. Fairchild recovered after spending one night in a hospital. Blostein was cold but not injured.
90579 – 1019590579-10195