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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Capsized canoe victims rescued from Horseshoe Lake by two sheriff’s office deputies

Two men in their 60s were rescued from frigid waters of Horseshoe Lake on Thursday by Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Deputies Benjamin Stolz and Eric Reyes arrived at the lake to men calling for help out on the water after falling out of a capsized canoe. The men were in the water for 50 minutes at that point, the release said, and could not hold on much longer.

The two deputies were still waiting for medical backup and dive team members but decided to jump into action anyway. They removed their ballistic vests, left their radios with a neighbor and found a small boat and a kayak chained up nearby to assist them in the rescue. The deputies cut the chain with bolt cutters and tied the kayak to the back of the boat to make their way out to the middle of the lake, the sheriff’s office said.

When the deputies reached the men, they were shivering uncontrollably. Both had lost the use of their legs and had limited use of their arms from the temperature of the water. The deputies were able to tow the victims back to shore, and they were treated by medics for hypothermia.

The men were transported to the hospital and expected to make a full recovery, the sheriff’s office said.

“I have no doubt the selfless and heroic actions of Deputy Stolz and Deputy Reyez saved the victims’ lives. Both Deputies realized this was an extremely dangerous situation that demanded immediate action, and they risked their own safety to save two men in desperate need. I am extremely proud of their actions and thankful all four are safe,” Spokane County Sheriff John Nowels said in the release.