“I’m Just Eternally Grateful that There was Such a Good Samaritan Willing to Risk Her Own Life to Come and Help Some Strangers”

On 27 June 2012, Paul Borneman III, age 33, nearly drowned with his eight-year-old daughter in Lake George, Maine. Fortunately, Renee Dostie, age 30, a mother of three from Clinton, Maine, saved their lives. Mr. Borneman had swam out to what he thought was a rock about 50 feet from shore. His daughter was on his back, and because of a fever he had had earlier in the week, he was tiring quickly. When he reached what he had thought was a rock, he discovered that it was a piece of wood, and it would not support the weight of his daughter and him. Mr. Borneman said, “I started to panic a little bit then because I was starting to get very drained of energy. I switched my daughter around to the front of me. I tried to make it toward shore. I made it about 10 feet. Didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to breath again. My body was pretty much completely giving out.” He added, “I just wanted to make sure that my daughter was fine; that’s all I was concerned with at the time. The next thing I knew I was coming to on the shore.” Ms. Dostie pulled him and their daughter to within 20 feet of shore, and then other swimmers, including Leah May, helped pull them the rest of the way to shore. Ms. May’s friend Tori Barron called 911, and an ambulance took Mr. Borneman to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, Maine, where doctors told him that he had suffered a heart arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat. He was released the following day. Mr. Borneman said about Ms. Dostie, “I’m just eternally grateful that there was such a Good Samaritan willing to risk her own life to come and help some strangers. I wouldn’t know what to say to her other than thank you. Thank you.”

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