David R. Sauter helped to save Ethel Hannah from drowning, Pittsford, New York, May 25, 2006. Hannah, 60, was the driver of an automobile that left the roadway, entered the adjacent Erie Canal, and began to submerge nose first in the 12-foot-deep water at a point about 52 feet from the bank. She moved to the other side of the car and opened the window of the front passenger door. Driving nearby, Sauter, 50, sales representative, witnessed the accident and responded to the bank of the canal. Ascertaining that Hannah could not swim well, Sauter removed his jacket and shoes and dived into the water, which was very cold. He swam to the car, only a few inches of which were still showing, Hannah having been submerged as she tried to climb through the window. Sauter reached below the surface of the water and grasped Hannah by her collar. He pulled her from the car and to the surface, then placed an arm across her chest and started to return to the bank. En route, he became numb and nearly exhausted, and he called for help at a point about 10 feet from the bank. Two other men entered the canal and relieved Sauter of Hannah, whom they took to safety, Sauter following. Hannah was taken to the hospital for observation, and Sauter recovered after resting.
79401 – 908779401-9087