Tony J. Schmidt helped to save Nicholas A. Yebba from drowning, Blairsville, Georgia, May 29, 2013. Yebba, 29, was unconscious in the front seat of his automobile after it left the highway, entered the Nottely River, and submerged in water about 12 feet deep at a point about 35 feet from the closer bank. Driving on the highway, Schmidt, 52, business operator, witnessed the accident and responded to the bank, as did another motorist. Not seeing anyone emerge from the car, Schmidt and the other man removed items of attire and then entered the river and swam to it. They submerged and pried open the vehicle’s rear hatch, which sent personal items from the car, startling them. After surfacing for air, Schmidt made repeated dives into the car to locate, free, and remove Yebba. He took Yebba to the surface and then with the other man returned him to the bank as first responders were arriving. Yebba was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and Schmidt was cold but quickly recovered.
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