Patrick Smith helped to save Shane Plumb-Saumure from drowning, Pembroke, Ontario, July 13, 2013. While swimming in a narrow branch of the Ottawa River, Plumb-Saumure was caught in the swift current and, stranded, held to a rock at a point about 200 feet from the bank. Just beyond him was a series of rapids that contained a trench filled with debris. Smith, 44, police officer, and his partner and another officer responded to the scene. Finding that Plumb-Saumure was cold and weakening and concluding that his time was limited, Smith donned a life ring with a line attached and entered the water as the other officers secured the free end of the line. When the current took him off course, the other officers pulled Smith back to the bank, and he re-entered the water farther upstream. He swam and was carried to Plumb-Saumure. As the others were pulling them toward the bank, the line separated, stranding Plumb-Saumure again, but at a point closer to the bank, and Smith was washed into the rapids, where he stabilized himself against a rock. Arriving firefighters using a Zodiac boat removed Plumb-Saumure from the river, but with difficulty. Smith was removed from the river by a search and rescue helicopter after being in the water about 90 minutes. He was treated at the hospital for hypothermia and other, minor, injuries and recovered.
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