Sandpoint officer honored for saving fisherman's life - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sandpoint officer honored for saving fisherman's life

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Officer Robert Dressel saved a man in the water. Officer Robert Dressel saved a man in the water.
SANDPOINT, Idaho -

A member of the Sandpoint Police Department is getting rewarded for his heroic actions, after police say a boat quickly sank in Lake Pend Oreille, near Long Bridge. The Sandpoint Police Department, Sheriff's Office, EMS, and Fire Department all rushed to the scene after water rescue call on May 26th at 9:24 a.m. Jason Johnson remembers that day well.

"As I was driving across Long Bridge, I looked out at the west side, and a boat was sinking," Johnson said.

Traffic started to slow down as drivers called 911.

Reny Hansen with the Selkirk Fire Department responded to the call in one of their rescue boats.

"The boat had already sunk quickly, and one guy was surviving just by holding a cooler," Hansen said.

That's when Lieutenant Robert Dressel with the Sandpoint Police Department jumped into action. He got into the cold water and brought the man to the shore.

"One of our finest jumped in and saved someone," Johnson said. "It had to be pretty darn cold to jump in that water that day," Johnson.

The man was showing signs of hypothermia, but he made it out of the frigid water just in time. The friend he was fishing with was able to swim to shore on his one.

"A few more minutes it probably wouldn't have been a good outcome. Every minute in the water increases the chance of a bad outcome," Hansen said.

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