Jason E. Riggs helped to save Jonathan M. Knickle from drowning, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, July 29, 2005. After a few hours of fishing, Knickle, 23, a guide, and two clients, Riggs, 33, state trooper, and his friend, took their 18-foot aluminum boat to shore in a remote area along the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. Intending to prepare a meal, they disembarked but found minutes later that the boat was drifting away from shore. Clothed, Knickle immediately entered the 41-degree lake and began to swim to the boat. Experiencing difficulty in the frigid water, he stopped swimming and shouted for help. Alone and with no means of calling for help, Riggs and his friend removed their outer attire, entered the water, and swam about 120 feet to Knickle. They grasped Knickle, who was bobbing in the water, and positioned him on his back. Grasping Knickle’s clothes about the shoulder, Riggs and his friend swam back to shore, albeit with difficulty as they swam against a current, swallowed water, and experienced fatigue. In wadable water, Riggs and his friend dragged Knickle ashore, where they divided up their dry clothing. About 35 minutes later, fishermen in another boat saw the drifting vessel and located the stranded party. Their boat returned to them, Knickle and Riggs and his friend returned to the lodge. Knickle was cold and sore, but he recovered the next day. Riggs was cold and nearly exhausted. He recovered later that day after resting.
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