Matthew R. Scribner saved Kurt E. Deisinger from drowning, Palmyra, New York, April 23, 2011. Deisinger, 26, and his brother were kayaking on Ganargua Creek near the base of a low-head dam. Water from the nearby Erie Canal spilled over the dam into the creek, forming a boil at the base of the dam. When Deisinger’s kayak rolled, throwing him into the boil, his brother paddled toward him, but he too fell into the turbulent water and with Deisinger became caught there momentarily. They were then pushed downstream, conscious but immobilized, and they shouted for help. Scribner, 24, and three friends were on a bank of the creek about 150 feet away and witnessed the accident. Removing his shirt and shoes, Scribner jumped feet first into the creek, which was high and running fast from spring runoff, and was stunned by the coldness of the water. He swam to Deisinger, reaching him at the outer edge of the boil, and towed him to the north bank. Deisinger’s brother, meanwhile, floated with the current toward the north bank, and when he was within reach, Scribner and the others pulled him from the creek. Deisinger and his brother were both hospitalized for treatment of hypothermia, and they recovered. Scribner also needed hospital treatment for hypothermia, and he too recovered.
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