Cousins help save man from drowning in Flint River

Published 4:01 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020

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Jonah Martin and cousin, Dylan Collins are being lauded as heroes after saving a man from drowning on the Flint River Saturday afternoon.

Martin said he and Collins, along with their other relatives had spent the day jet skiing. While jet skiing, they passed an anchored boat several times. However, the boaters did not make contact with Martin and Collins until they were about to load up for the day.

Martin said they flagged him and Collins down and pointed downstream, where a man’s boat had flipped over and the rope inside the boat had become wrapped around his ankle.

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Martin immediately threw his life vest to the man who was panting for air and screaming he could not swim. Collins then backed in the jet ski to allow the man to grab hold of the platform so he could rest for a moment and catch his breath.

Once he was safely holding onto the platform, Martin dove into the river to try and untie the rope that was wrapped around the man’s ankle, however the rope was so tight he wasn’t sure if he would be able to get it off.

Martin’s other relatives then pulled up on their jet ski to offer help. Martin asked if they had scissors or anything to help remove the rope, but after searching they could not find anything.

Martin dove in again and worked on loosening the rope little by little to shimmy it off of the man’s foot.

“It was just a rush of adrenaline,” Martin said. “I knew I had to save this man; he would drown if we didn’t get the rope untied.”

Once the rope was loose enough, the man was able to slip his foot out and the boat and rope sank quickly to the bottom.

Martin and Collins got the man up on their jet ski and took him back to his family, where they had called the DNR and EMTs to check him over.

Following a short assessment, the EMTs declared him alright and allowed him to get back on the boat with his family.

“I’m just glad he was okay and got to go home and be with his family,” Martin said.

Martin is thankful he and his cousin were there at the right moment, but said he didn’t save this man for any type of recognition and would save anyone in a situation like that if he could.