Gary M. Syswerda helped to save Henry J. Van Dyken and Allen R. Holder from drowning, Paw Paw, Michigan, February 23, 1992. Van Dyken, 53, and Holder,54, had been ice fishing on Eagle Lake and were returning to the bank when they broke through the ice into 20 feet of water at a point about 220 feet from the bank. Syswerda, 32, tool and die maker, who was on the bank, sawthe accident and walked out onto the ice to the men. En route, he broke through the ice six times, each time pulling himself out of the water and continuing toward them. At a point about 20 feet from the hole in the ice that Holder and Van Dyken had created, Syswerda threw the free end of a 25-foot nylon strap to them. Van Dyken caught the strap, and Syswerda pulled him out of the water onto the ice. He then pulled Holder out in the same way. Van Dyken and Holder remained on the ice while Syswerda went back to the bank for a boat. Rescue personnel arrived at the scene, took the boat out to Van Dyken and Holder, and returned them to the bank. They were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia.
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