From our news partners, The Reporter Herald by Jessica Maher
Loveland Fire Rescue Authority personnel pulled two elderly men out of the water west of Loveland on Saturday, crediting a bystander with providing vital assistance.
By the time the first unit was assigned to the call at 10:55 a.m. and arrived at Rist Benson Reservoir about five minutes later, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Battalion Chief Michael Cerovski said it's estimated that the men may have been in the chilly water for 45 minutes or more.
The men had been in an aluminum canoe and it was unclear on Sunday what the men had been doing or how they ended up in the water.
"They were out there for quite awhile before someone noticed they were in crisis," Cerovski said.
When an unidentified man did notice people in distress in the reservoir, he reportedly approached in a paddle boat and stayed with the men, who held on to the side of the boat, until 911 was called and units arrived and then assisted in getting the men to shore.
The men in the water did not have personal floatation devices.
"I think the quick thinking work of the bystander had a massive impact on those people's lives," Cerovski said.
Loveland Fire Rescue Authority activated the special operations team, which includes the dive team, but no off-duty response was needed as Cerovski said the surface rescue was completed with on-duty fire personnel and implementation of the dive truck and rescue boat.
The two unidentified men were transported to a local hospital by Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services to be evaluated for hypothermia. Their condition was not available on Sunday.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office also responded to the call on Saturday. The scene was clear about 45 minutes after initial arrival.
Jessica Maher can be reached at 669-5050, ext. 516, or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JessicaMaherRH.
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