John David Pearce saved Mary C. Barnes from drowning, Fort Erie, Ontario, June 15, 2008. Barnes, 57, was fishing from the bank of the Niagara River when she fell into the water and was swept downstream by the very swift current. Pearce, 52, stationary engineer, was in his home near the scene when he became aware of the situation. Knowing the strength of the current, Pearce got into his vehicle and drove about 1,000 feet downstream to a point at which he thought he might intercept her. Parking, he saw Barnes in that vicinity, at a point about 180 feet from the bank. Pearce went to the bank, removed his shoes, and waded and swam out to Barnes. Telling her to roll onto her back, Pearce grasped Barnes around the chin with one arm and with the other began to swim back to the bank, Barnes in tow. The current carried them about 400 feet farther downstream as Pearce swam. Nearing the bank, he called out for help, and a man entered the river and aided them to safety. Barnes was treated at the hospital for minor injury, and she recovered.
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