Danny J. Kehler saved James D. Gibson from drowning, Kenora, Ontario, December 27, 2000. Gibson, 58, and his son-in-law, Kehler, 32, minister, were riding snowmobiles with two other men on ice-covered Black Sturgeon River. Thin ice gave way beneath Gibson, dropping him and his snowmobile into the frigid water at a point about 100 feet from the bank. Gibson had been separated from the others, who were unaware of the accident. With air temperature well below zero, Gibson struggled to climb from the open water, then to stay afloat, and he yelled for help. After several minutes, Kehler and one of the other men arrived at the scene and found Gibson, whose strength was sapped by then. Despite Gibson’s warning not to approach him on the thin ice, Kehler started to crawl out, taking with him two lengths of snowmobile starter cord tied together to make a line. When the ice cracked and sagged beneath him, Kehler retreated, then he resumed his approach over what appeared to be more solid ice. He went to within about five feet of Gibson, then, although the ice beneath him was cracking, threw the free end of the line toward Gibson, requiring repeated attempts before Gibson was able to seize it. Kehler pulled Gibson from the water and onto the ice, then crawled away from the hole, pulling him. He and the other men took Gibson to a residence about a mile away, where Gibson warmed. Both Gibson and Kehler recovered from their exposure to the cold.
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