Walker Helps Pull Man from Chilly Lake Hartwell

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Feb. 17) — The winner of this week’s GEICO Bassmaster Classic is likely to become a hero to fishing fans, but Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler David Walker is already a hero, at least to one lucky man.

809elHQOszBogrsc3y8PmvphkMsyyKFc9zOfjD--jGUlu-2UH5RR3RpS9vSs15Dmr59jCR1My7mUC7ykPGr7DRHsu8mLhcaH-Gj2HvjlG4y9tnJlaEbkOZcwR0zJflarmuwkSA=s0-d-e1-ftWhile practicing on Sunday for the Classic, Walker pulled the man from chilly Lake Hartwell, likely saving him from hypothermia. The man’s boat had sunk and he was attempting to swim toward a boat dock that Walker was near.

“I hadn’t seen a boat in two hours,” Walker said. “It was so sunny and slick and calm. I ran all the way down there, and I stopped on a point and I was fishing along there.”

Walker noticed a boat ramp about a quarter-mile away with a couple of cars and a few people gathered on it. The more he fished, the more cars and people pulled to the ramp, all looking toward the water.

“As I’m watching them, I noticed something in the water that was about halfway between me and them,” Walker said. “It was so low to the water that I couldn’t really tell what it was. I thought, ‘I bet somebody’s lost something in that wind.’ “

Walker then noticed the blue light atop a sheriff’s car, and when he glanced back toward the object, it was moving.

“There’s no way that’s a person,” Walker thought.

Walker turned on his trolling motor to see what the object was, now a few hundred yards away. When he got closer, he noticed a man with his arms wrapped around a square-type life preserver, kicking his legs to try to get to the dock.

“I pulled up to the guy and said, ‘Man, you picked a heck of a day to go for a swim,’ ” Walker said.

Water temperatures were around 45 degrees, cold enough to worry Walker about the man’s condition. The man told Walker he estimated he had been in the water about 10 minutes.

Walker’s boat has a ladder on the back, and the man tried his best to climb out of the water, but it was difficult because of the man’s condition and size.

“He said, ‘I can’t do it. Pull me in,’ ” Walker said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to get out of that water; it’s going to kill you.’ When I grabbed his hand, it felt like ice.”

Eventually, the man got a foot on the ladder, and Walker properly braced himself to help him in.

Walker quickly drove to shore, where emergency personnel on the scene treated the man. Walker said the man was walking and appeared to be fine, and after a sheriff deputy took Walker’s information, he left the scene.

“I’m just glad I was able to help,” Walker said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”

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