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Associated Press, Published August 27 2010

Minn. teen on jet-ski saves struggling swimmer

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Beltrami County authorities are commending a Bemidji teen who used his jet ski to save a swimmer struggling in heavy waves.

The sheriff's office says 14-year-old Brett Hartje prevented what could have been a tragedy.

Deputies say a 28-year-old Bemidji man was boating on Lake Bemidji over the weekend when the wind blew a towel overboard. The man jumped in and grabbed it but struggled when the winds blew the unanchored boat away from him.

Passengers on board weren't able to throw him a flotation device, nor could they restart the pontoon boat to pick him up.

Hartje sped over and pulled the man onto his jet ski. Hartje says when he arrived the man was going under, and all the teen could see was an arm sticking out of the water.

The man refused medical treatment.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.