CLEVELAND -- Three men were pulled from Lake Erie Friday morning after their boat crashed into the breakwall.
"If we weren't there in a minute or two he was done," is how Michael Reed described the urgency of the rescue he, his father Brian, and a neighbor accomplished about noon on Friday.
Michael Reed pulled a man, who he says was in immediate danger of drowing, from the choppy waters near Gordon Park.
"He was near death in a minute," Reed said of the man, who was not wearing a life jacket, and had gone under the waves "at least 5 times."
The man who was rescued was not identified, and was taken by ambulance to MetroHealth Medical Center. Two other men on the capsized boat were wearing life jackets and were pulled in by other boaters who saw the commotion. They were taken to University Hospitals.
All three men were said to be from the Canton area and were treated for early symptoms of hypothermia.
Reed and his companions were just about to pull up anchor for the day because the winds had picked up and waves were starting to crash. "We got hit with a 7 footer," he said.
"Then I heard somebody say help. I looked further and seen guys in the water, a boat flipped. Then I seen the guy who didn't have the life jacket."
"He was in panic and shock. He was almost in a near death experience," said Reed after he returned to shore with the victim. "He went under the boat, hit his head on the boat and tried to grab the rope."
"I just reached, grabbed him with all my might, pulled him up, and he was OK."
The capsized boat, about 14-feet long, appeared to have been heavily damaged, with pieces of it still litternig the breakwall.