Christian Timmins helped to save Rhonda W. Knickles from drowning, Mandeville, Louisiana, April 25, 2010. Knickles, 49, fell into Lake Pontchartrain after she was involved in an automobile accident on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at a point about six miles from the closer shore. Timmins, 31, pilot, was driving on the causeway when he witnessed the accident and saw her fall. He flagged down other motorists for help, and those responding included a causeway police officer, who placed a ladder over the side of the bridge. Another motorist then donned the officer’s life vest, descended the ladder, and swam to Knickles, who was floating face down in the 14-foot-deep water at a point about 60 feet from the bridge. He turned her over, finding her unconscious, and supported her. Since a swift current in the lake was carrying them farther from the bridge, Timmins also donned a life vest and entered the water from the bridge. He swam to a life ring that had been thrown by the officer and with difficulty in the 3.5-foot waves took it to the first rescuer. Together the men placed Knickles on the ring and held to it as they were carried farther away. Other causeway police officers arrived, and one of them entered the water with a flotation device and aided Knickles and her rescuers back to the causeway, where they were lifted to safety. Knickles was taken to the hospital but died of drowning the following day. Timmins was nearly exhausted after the rescue, but he recovered.
83211 – 945683211-9456