Ross Herstedt, a bus driver for Alliance Public Schools, can add the word hero to his resume after saving a Denver man from drowning at Lake Ogallala this past weekend.
Herstedt, who grew up in Paxton, planned a fishing trip, and set up his campsite at Lake Ogallala, near the Kingsley Dam spillway. After setting up camp, Herstedt saw a man running and screaming for help. Herstedt, called to action, ran to the shoreline where he saw two men in the water, and another who was taken by the current from the Kingsley Dam. None of the men were wearing lifejackets.
Diving into the water, Herstedt began swimming toward the man who was swept away by the current, when another unnamed person threw an air mattress into the water. Herstedt retrieved the mattress and continued swimming toward the man, whose face kept disappearing under the water.
Herstedt caught up with the man and helped him onto the air mattress. After the mattress flipped over once, Herstedt steadied it and they were able to reach the shore. No CPR was necessary.
Nebraska Game and Parks officials urge swimmers not to swim near the plume at Lake Ogallala because of the strong downstream current.