Michael J. Karasek saved Nicholas E. and helped to save James D. Schmit from drowning, Spencer, Nebraska, June 15, 1991. Nicholas, 8, and his brother James, 4, were in wadable water just off the bank of the Niobrara River,near a dam, when that portion of the bank collapsed suddenly, plunging them and their sister into deep, turbulent water. Karasek, 27, press operator, was alerted from nearby; he ran to the scene, dived into the river, and swam to Nicholas. After a struggle, during which they were submerged, Karasek took Nicholas to a point from which he climbed onto the structure of the dam. Karasek then returned to the rough water, where another man was struggling to hold James and the sister above water at the base of the dam. Karasek swam to the bank with James, then lay on the bank momentarily, nearly exhausted. He returned to the dam, walking atop it to a point above the other man, and aided in the removal of the sister. James recovered after receiving hospital treatment; the sister drowned. Karasek sought medical attention for pain in his side, and he recovered.
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