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Hero caught on tape: Willamette river rescue of drowning man

March 6, 2012

Honoring Kevin Pratt for his life-saving action this weekend
By Guest Opinion,

There are heroes among us in Oregon and not all wear a uniform.   Sometimes the heroes are everyday people who live with us like Kevin Pratt.   As played out this weekend a cyclist saw man drowning in the Willamette river and jumped in to save him.  Saving a drowning victim is more difficult than we understand because the person drowning can pull the rescuer down with him and sink the person trying to help.   Kudos to Kevin Pratt for his heroism this weekend — Oregon applauds your effort.    Please watch the video below.

Here is details from Pratt’s perspective as reported in the Oregonian today,

“When Pratt got to Howe he was still moving, but in obvious distress. Pratt told him to try to stay calm. “I was afraid of him grabbing me, panicking and trying to pull me under,” Pratt said. “He didn’t have much strength left.” Pratt turned Howe on his back and tried the best he could to keep both their heads out of the waterHowe’s weight combined with his heavy, wet clothes kept pulling Pratt down. He was swallowing water. Pratt realized the only way to safely get Howe to shore was to grab his jacket collar and drag him to shore. He knew that Howe’s head was underwater and figured Howe would be unconscious and not have a pulse by the time they reached shore. Meanwhile, Tim Voynov, who captured nearly the entire incident on his new cellphone camera, had a friend who was with him call 9-1-1. “

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