The inflatable raft floated in the deep area of Sweetwater Lake, with no one around it.
John Dotts, enjoying a hot July day with his wife, noticed the plastic toy beyond the normal swimming area. That’s when he saw the splashing.
A boy was swimming after the raft then disappeared beneath the water. His head broke the surface, gasping, screaming for help, before going under again.
“All I could think was, ‘God help me. I can’t let this boy drown,’” he said.
Dotts’ actions likely saved the 16-year-old’s life. He swam about 50 yards out to get him and then dragged him to the lake’s beach. The conscious but delirious boy was treated at the hospital for a respiratory attack but was otherwise fine.