Mark T. Grippando saved Brian L. Burdick from drowning, Sawyer, Michigan, September 22, 1990. Burdick, 31, shouted for help after his kayak overturned in Lake Michigan at a point about 300 feet from shore. Gale-force winds were blowing, and water conditions included high waves and a very strong undertow. On shore, Grippando, 25, computer system engineer, and some friends saw Burdick’s plight. Despite the rough conditions, Grippando entered the water and swam to Burdick, although he was repeatedly submerged en route by the waves, causing him to lose sight of Burdick momentarily. After reaching Burdick, Grippando secured a hold on the kayak, as did Burdick, and swam back to shore, pushing it. Two of Grippando’s friends who had attempted a rescue were taken far into the lake by the current; one drowned and the other required hospital treatment for effects of her ordeal.
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