Thomas M. Petruszak

A selfie taken by Adam M. Woodruff, front, whom Carnegie Hero Thomas M. Petruszak, center, attempted to save after he fell from boat into deep water.
Thomas M. Petruszak
Thomas M. Petruszak

Thomas M. Petruszak died attempting to save Adam M. Woodruff from drowning in Gladstone, Mich., on  Sept. 3, 2016.

Woodruff, 37, was fishing from a motorboat in a Lake Michigan bay about 1 mile from shore when he lost his balance and fell into the deep, 70-degree water. Woodruff trod water as he drifted from the boat, which his friend was unable to start.

Also on board, Petruszak, 57, tree trimmer of Manteno, Ill., jumped from the boat and swam to Woodruff. Petruszak attempted to tow Woodruff to the boat, but a wave separated them, and Petruszak disappeared. The friend signaled distress and notified authorities.

Alerted, a party in another boat located Woodruff, who was nearly exhausted, pulled him from the water, and took him to shore.

Authorities searched extensively for Petruszak, finding his body five days later; he had drowned.


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