Published by Cobram Courier in print and online on January 8, 2014.
Two quick-thinking boaters saved the life of a distressed swimmer at Thompsons Beach on Monday.
Melbourne man Dan Sun was swimming with his family when he struck difficulty in the water opposite Beach Cafe about noon.
Sheryl Paton said she first noticed Mr Sun in distress after members of his family began calling for help from the beach.
The Melbourne woman suggested her husband Michael take their boat to rescue the struggling man.
Mr Paton said he thought they reached Mr Sun just in time.
He said Mr Sun swallowed about four mouthfuls of water.
‘‘When we got to him, he was white as a ghost,’’ Mr Paton said.
‘‘Another minute and he might not have been with us.’’
Mr Paton’s nephew Michael Bussey, 20, was with him in the boat, and said Mr Sun was unresponsive when they reached him.
‘‘All you could see was his mouth and nose,’’ Mr Bussey said.
‘‘I threw the rope to him and he couldn’t move. He finally grabbed the rope and we pulled him in (to the boat).’’
The men also rescued Mr Sun’s daughter who had swam across the river and was waiting on the bank.
Mr Bussey said he thought Mr Sun had tried to follow his daughter across the river.
Mrs Paton said she thought the strength of the current took Mr Sun by surprise.
She said she spoke to him after the rescue and said he commented on how calm the water looked from the beach.
‘‘He said to me, ‘It just looks so nice’,’’ Mrs Paton said.
‘‘I think they just didn’t understand the river.’’
Mrs Paton said she was proud of the actions of her husband and nephew.
‘‘(Mr Paton) just ran out and just did it,’’ she said.
‘‘The other people were yelling to call an ambulance because they didn’t know what to do.
‘‘But we thought, ‘You couldn’t get an ambulance if they’re down the river’.’’
Mrs Paton said Mr Sun was so grateful for the rescue he insisted on paying for the Paton family’s lunch at the Beach Cafe.
An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said Mr Sun had not sustained injuries and did not require treatment.
‘‘We attended after receiving a potential drowning call,’’ the spokeswoman said.
‘‘When we got there he was walking around and responsive and didn’t require an ambulance.’’