Todd David Gittins helped to save a man from drowning, Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 19, 2003. Gittins, 35, diesel mechanic, was driving across a bridge that spanned the Red River when he saw a man, 29, standing at the bridge railing. Continuing, he then learned that the man had jumped, in an apparent suicide attempt. Gittins left his vehicle and ran down to the river’s edge. The man surfaced at about midpoint in the river but was being carried downstream by the current, made swift by runoff. Gittins followed him on the bank, then, blocked by brush, entered the frigid water and continued along the bank. Reaching a dock, he obtained a life ring, which he donned, and other aids. He swam out to the man, who was face down about 200 feet from the bank, and grasped him by his jacket. With his free hand, Gittins began to swim back to the bank. Firefighters were arriving, and two men launched a boat from the bank and maneuvered it toward Gittins. They took the victim aboard and returned to the bank, Gittins following. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he died of drowning. Nearly exhausted, Gittins too was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia. He recovered.
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