John McPeck saved Micheal G. Bungay from drowning, London, Ontario, January 30, 1994. Micheal, 6, and a friend called for help from open water of the partially frozen Thames River. Their cries attracted the attention of McPeck, 55, college professor, who was walking along the river’s opposite bank. McPeck ran a mile to the scene, where Micheal was holding to a branch of a downed tree that extended into the river. McPeck climbed along the tree toward Micheal, who was about 35 feet from the bank, and when it appeared to him that the outer branches of the tree would not support his weight, he jumped into the frigid river and swam to Micheal, who by then showed no sign of life. After McPeck freed Micheal’s grasp of the tree, both were carried downstream by a swift current toward the edge of solid ice that spanned the river. Fearing entrapment beneath the ice, McPeck, holding Micheal, swam back toward the tree. After some difficulty, he pushed Micheal atop solid ice bordering the bank of the river, then pulled himself out of the open water. An arriving police officer crawled partway onto the ice, and McPeck pushed Micheal to him. The officer took Micheal to the bank, where he was revived. McPeck returned to the bank unaided. Hospitalized overnight for hypothermia, Micheal recovered. The body of his friend was recovered from the river weeks later.
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