Mark Kevin Breen, Jr., saved Delilah H. Perez from drowning, Pentwater, Michigan, August 3, 2011. Swimming in Lake Michigan off a state park beach, Delilah, 13, was pulled away from shore by a strong current. She was taken toward large rocks at the base of one of a pair of concrete piers that extended into the water from shore to form a channel that connected the lake to a smaller inland lake. Five-foot waves broke against the rocks and pier. Delilah floated unconscious beyond the end of the pier after several men entered the water and attempted to rescue her. Breen, 29, ironworker, was in the swimming area when he was alerted to the situation. He swam about 300 feet to Delilah, who was face down, and turned her over. He then grasped her and swam across the channel to the second pier, the waves washing over and submerging them repeatedly. Breen took Delilah to a ladder affixed to that pier, where others helped him remove her from the water. Breen worked to revive Delilah, who was then taken to the hospital. She died there the next day. Breen was nearly exhausted after the rescue but recovered in two days.
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