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Man credits divine intervention for leading him to person stuck in icy river

A Utah man was honored Thursday for his role in saving a man from drowning in the Snake River on a frigid January day...

Posted: Mar 12, 2018 1:46 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2018 1:46 PM

A Utah man was honored Thursday for his role in saving a man from drowning in the Snake River on a frigid January day.

Nathan Fillmore was declared an "East Idaho Real Hero" by the American Red Cross for his actions on the afternoon of Jan. 3. The Idaho Falls Fire Department and Bonneville County Sheriff's Office were also recognized for saving the man.

Fillmore was at the Snake River in Idaho Falls working with a film crew on a commercial when ambulances, police cars and fire engines pulled up. It was around 20 degrees and ice covered most of the river.

"I remember thinking while we were shooting that if somebody fell in there it would be very bad," Fillmore recalls.

Officials say a man taking photos slipped on the side of the river and fell into the freezing water. He was able to grab onto rocks along the banks but most of his body was submerged.

"He called 911 from his cell phone and tried to explain where he was located but we had very limited information," Bonneville County Sheriff Deputy Christopher Rix tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Deputies and firefighters began walking along the side of the river looking for the man. Fillmore joined in the search as minutes ticked away.

"Suddenly, right out of the corner of my eye, I saw his head poking up out of the water and he was looking directly at me," Fillmore says. "I could tell he was almost out of energy because he was trying to wave his beanie at me but he couldn't speak. He was just staring."

Fillmore yelled to emergency responders that he had found the man and began recording the rescue operation with his cell phone.

"He was probably in the water almost 12-13 minutes," Idaho Falls Fire Chief Cody Anderson says. "He was about done. Had he been there five minutes, we might have lost him."

Crews pulled the man from the freezing water and helped him into a warm ambulance. He was so weak that he couldn't walk on his own but was treated on the scene and released.

Responders say had Fillmore spotted him a few minutes later, the man likely could have died.

"Were he to have let go of the cliff face, he very possibly could have gotten sucked under the ice and trapped under an ice shelf for quite some time," Rix says. "It was very close to being a much worse situation."

Deputies and firefighters say they are humbled to receive the American Red Cross award, but acknowledge they were just doing their jobs and shouldn't be called heroes.

Fillmore is thankful he was in the right place at the right time and is glad he could help.

"I'm more inclined (to think) that there was some divine intervention that helped me," Fillmore says. "The real heroes are the dudes that are trained and passionate about saving lives. They pulled him out of the river and it made me feel good to participate in some small way."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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