Brandon M. Smith helped to save a woman from drowning, Fort Pierce, Florida, August 17, 2010. At night, a 41-year-old woman jumped from a bridge into the Indian River and was swept away by a strong tidal current. Brandon, 16, high school student, was fishing from a catwalk below the bridge with several friends when they heard the woman hit the water and then saw her being carried into the darkness. They jumped from the catwalk into the river and swam about 350 feet to the woman, who was floating on her back at a point about 385 feet from the closer bank. They grasped the woman and together swam with difficulty against the current toward the bank. Reaching wadable water, they pulled the woman toward an accessible point on the bank, where emergency personnel had responded. Brandon and the others removed the woman from the river. She was hospitalized for treatment of broken ribs and other injuries, and she recovered. Brandon was tired after the rescue and sustained lacerations to his feet, and he too recovered.
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