Two North Central Florida firefighters jumped into action to save two men from drowning after a rescue attempt failed

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:26 PM EST
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HAWTHORNE, Fla. (WCJB) - Two men were rescued from Johnson lake after one of them attempted to save the other one from drowning.

Officials say one of the men had a seizure while riding a jet ski, causing him to fall off. His brother went into save him but was unable to pull him to the dock.

RELATED: Two people rescued from Lake Johnson after attempt to save drowning man goes wrong

Fire Lieutenant Ryan Lowery said the team arrived to the scene in 4 minutes and immediately took action.

“Me and Rescue Lieutenant Marsh from the rescue got in the water, grabbed the victim, and started dragging him to shore. It was about 60 feet from the dock was how far he was out,” said Lowery. “When we first got him onto the dock, we immediately checked him for a pulse and checked if he was breathing, which he was not. We just started going down the list of everything we had to do to try and get that back for him. The other gentlemen was very upset and exhausted. I called in an additional rescue unit for him.”

Rollin Peek said he was at the park and saw the man out on the jet ski before firefighters arrived.

“It was literally shocking because he was having a grand old time. Next thing I knew about 5 or 10 minutes later all of a sudden the fire rescue comes out,” said Peek. “One lady jumps in the river and the other guy he was undressing and turned around where he could get in and help out as well.”

The woman he saw was Rescue Lieutenant Kimberly Marsh. Marsh was a former lifeguard and didn’t think twice before jumping in.

“I knew before I even got on scene that I was going in the water. I got out of the truck, took my radio off, took my shoes off, ran to the dock with the fire lieutenant Ryan Lowery,” said Marsh. “If he did not have a life jacket on then it wouldn’t have been a recovery because his brother wouldn’t have been able to hold him up. We wouldn’t have been able to find him.

The victim’s mother told TV20 while one of her sons made a full recovery, her other son is still in the hospital with critical injuries.

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