Jeffrey A. Johnson helped to save Robert J. Schuster from drowning, Briggsville, Wisconsin, April 5, 2014. While returning to the bank after ice fishing on Lake Mason, Schuster, 80, broke through ice at a point about 300 feet from the closer bank. Failing to establish a hold on solid ice, he trod water and shouted for help. Johnson, 48, heating and cooling technician, was on the bank in that vicinity, having left the ice after fishing when he became aware of deteriorating ice conditions. He saw Schuster break through and called 911. After searching along the bank for a rescue tool, Johnson pushed a 12-foot-long branch in front of him as he walked to a point about 25 feet from Schuster. He slid the branch toward Schuster, but it fell short. Johnson returned to the bank, where he found a wooden frame about nine feet long. He advanced on the ice toward Schuster a second time, pushing on the frame to distribute his weight. Getting closer to Schuster that time, Johnson extended one end of the frame to him, and Schuster grabbed it. As Johnson then attempted to pull Schuster from the water, he too broke through. Firefighters arrived shortly and pulled Schuster, and then Johnson, from the water and returned them to the bank. The men required emergency-room treatment for hypothermia, and they recovered.
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