HUDSON — When a swimmer was in a distress in the St. Croix River, and first responders couldn't reach him, the quick actions of one bystander were life-saving.
Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems presented a lifesaving award to citizen Cully Orstad for his swift response that saved the life of a swimmer on Friday, June 11.
Several agencies were called to Lakefront Park for a swimmer in distress. The swimmer told police he could not make it back to shore or keep his head above water for much longer. First responder’s attempted to use rescue ropes, but could not reach the swimmer offshore.
Orstad moved quickly into action, Willems said, paddling out in his kayak to the swimmer. The swimmer was able to grab ahold of the kayak, and Orstad brought him safely back to shore.
His quick response saved the swimmer’s life, Willems said.
“Without his swift actions the situation would have undoubtedly been more tragic,” he said.
Orstad received a standing ovation from council members on Monday.
“I was just in the right place at the right time I guess,” he said.