Good Samaritan rescues man from Saginaw River - WNEM TV 5

Good Samaritan rescues man from Saginaw River

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Photo courtesy of Rose Cantu Photo courtesy of Rose Cantu
ZILWAUKEE TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Authorities are crediting a good Samaritan with rescuing a man from the Saginaw River. 

Zilwaukee Police Chief Jeff Wenzell said 911 dispatch received a call just after 3:15 p.m. Monday about a man in the river near the Zilwaukee Bridge. 

Investigators said 62-year-old Danny Behling, of Zilwaukee, had just launched his boat when high winds drew it away from shore and into the Saginaw River.

Behling tried to swim after it and began to struggle.

Wenzell said that's when Gary Humpert, from Saginaw Auto Collision - who was eating lunch near the water - saw what was happening and jumped in to rescue Behling. 

"Got out there to him and he went under right as I grabbed hold of his white T-shirt. He had a white T-shirt on and I grabbed the back of his T-shirt and his head was under water," Humpert said.

Humpert was able to swim back to shore with Behling.

Humpert and police performed CPR on Behling until an ambulance arrived. He was taken to Covenant Hospital and was last listed in critical condition.

"I was kind of thinking about him all night. So it was hard to sleep. Never did CPR before. That's the first time. It's the first time I ever swam in the Saginaw River too," Humpert said.

Humpert said he didn't have a life jacket, but he had to do something.

"I couldn't just watch him drown. I had to try," Humpert said.

Humpert said he knows he put his own life in danger and from now on he plans to have a life jacket with him just in case.

He is glad he was able to save a fellow human being from certain death and gave him a fighting chance.

"I hope he makes it, makes it home to his family," he said.

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