Feedback: Fort Drum Soldier Saves Boater's Life
It was Friday, April 13, on Butterfield Lake in Redwood.
Richard Stefanko needed rescuing.
"The good Lord was looking over me," he said.
The Syracuse man was alone on the lake when he began having problems with his boat.
Before he knew it, Stefanko was in the frigid water.
But, as luck would have it, at that very moment, Staff Sergeant Ryan Lowe pulled up to the lake in his car.
"I saw him stand up in his boat and then I saw him fall out of the boat," said Lowe.
The military police officer didn't hesitate.
He knew Stefanko was in trouble and his military training kicked in.
Lowe swam out to Stefanko.
"I could tell that the shock had started set in on him just by the look in his eyes. I just grabbed him and started making my way back to shore," said Lowe.
Even though the water and the air were both in the low 40's that day, both Stefanko and Lowe were okay.
Lowe says he's not sure what all the fuss is about, but for Stefanko it's clear - Lowe is a hero.
"Credit should be given where credit is due. He saved my life," said Stefanko.
"I'm just glad that I pulled up, by happenstance, pulled up to that spot," said Lowe.
Stefanko reached out to Fort Drum to thank Lowe.
He tracked the soldier down just in time; Lowe leaves the service this weekend.
"I'd like to say, 'Ryan, I'm doing good thanks to you,' and I wish him the best in life," said Stefanko.
As if Lowe hadn't already done enough - after he got Stefanko onto dry land, he went back in to the water to rescue his boat.
The soldier said it just seemed like the right thing to do.
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