Michael S. Rucinski saved Landon, Garrett, and Shari Hoffman from drowning, Brooksville, Mississippi, March 13, 2006. Brothers Landon, 10, and Garrett, 12, fell from a spillway at Bluff Lake into the 53-degree water of a drainage pool and were carried by the swift current out into the deep pool. Their mother, Hoffman, 41, who was fishing from the bank, entered the water for them, as they could not swim from the current. Fishing on the opposite bank, Rucinski, 35, maintenance employee, immediately ran around the pool to the nearer side. Removing his shoes, he dived into the water and swam about 45 feet to Landon, who was in water about 27 feet deep. He took Landon back to the bank, then saw that Hoffman was having difficulty with Garrett. Rucinski entered the pool again and swam out to them. Securing a hold on the boy, he took Garrett to the bank. Rucinski re-entered the pool again when he saw that Hoffman, who was nearly exhausted from the cold, was having difficulty. He helped her to shallow water, from which both left to safety.
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Michael Sean Rucinski, 40, of Ocean Springs, Miss., died on July 12, 2011, in Ocean Springs. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who loved the outdoors.
Funeral services were held on July 18, 2011, at the Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Homes.
(Edited from an obituary in the Hattiesburg American, July 17, 2011.)