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Wife saves husband after boat overturns

A northwest Indiana resident likely owes his survival to his wife after his boat flipped Friday in Noble County.

As 67-year-old William Heidenreich attempted to turn a fishing boat around and row to shore on Mirror Lake, the boat overturned, according to the law enforcement division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Knowing that her husband of 45 years was not a strong swimmer, Roberta Heidenreich grabbed a life vest and dog-paddled 100 yards to get to her husband, conservation officers said.

Not the strongest swimmer either, Roberta had one arm through a life vest for her husband and her other arm through her own life vest.

William had already gone underwater twice, and Roberta reached him just before he went under a third time, conservation Officer James Price said.

Orange Township Firefighter Ty Conley quickly grabbed a nearby boat and rowed to rescue the St. John residents and then towed them to shore.

Neither William nor Roberta Heidenreich suffered any injuries.

Price said the near-drowning shows the importance of life vests and flotation devices around water.

cmeyers@jg.net

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