Skip to main content

St. Paul firefighter saves man from drowning while on vacation in Florida

The fire captain was kayaking when he leapt into action.
Screen Shot 2020-09-13 at 9.41.36 AM

A St. Paul firefighter is a hero in Florida after saving a man from drowning while he was on vacation.

Jamie Smith was kayaking with girlfriend Krissy McCorkel near Fort Lauderdale when they stopped at a sandbar on Thursday, and while chatting with a group of boaters noticed a member of their party was in the water and in distress.

In a post on his Facebook page, Smith said he turned to the man's fiancee and asked him if he could swim. When she said "no," he leapt into action.

Smith, a captain for St. Paul Fire Department, told Local10 in Florida that he grabbed a lifejacket and swam out 40 yards into the water, helping the man back to the sandbar.

He shared a video of himself with the man he rescued on his Facebook page, with the rescued man tearing up as he says: "James, you saved my life."

As it turns out, Smith and McCorkel weren't even supposed to be in Florida on Thursday. They were due to fly back on Wednesday only for their flight to get pushed to Friday.

Follow Bring Me The News on YouTube

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-17 at 9.39.38 PM

Jordan Greenway runs into Darcy Kuemper, sparks fight

Kuemper got knocked out of the game, leading to the brawl.

Kirill Kaprizov

MacKinnon's controversial goal helps Avalanche top Wild

Kirill Kaprizov's two goals were spoiled by a questionable call.

powell itasca jail jan 2022 resize

Attorney accused of sex assault misses hearing, DMs judge

He was arrested the next day after a warrant was issued,

lorie shaull vulcan snow park st paul winter carnival 2018

Winter Carnival: Get vaccinated or test negative before coming

Organizers are also reminding people to be mindful of the city's emergency regulations.

hospital, emergency room

Driver, 15 years old, hurt when car collides with SUV

The road was wet at the time, the State Patrol said.

Tyler Wahl

Minnesotans have the Badgers back in the national spotlight

Three of Wisconsin's four leading scorers are from Minnesota.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano retires: Remembering his meteoric rise as a rookie

There was no one better than Liriano from mid-May to late-July in 2006.

Related

Thomas Harrigan

2 arrested in case of murdered St. Paul firefighter

Thomas Harrigan was shot in his home on Sept. 2.

firefighter-920032_1280

Off-duty volunteer firefighter saves double amputee from house fire

The 38-year-old was on his way to work when he saw the flames.

Snorkeling

Minnesota man, 71, dies while snorkeling in Florida Keys

The Slayton man was snorkeling with a family member.

Christopher Schultz

Tributes paid to the father who drowned saving 3-year-old son

Christopher Schultz made the ultimate sacrifice for his son on Saturday night.

boat, boating, lake

Twin Cities man drowned while fishing in northern Minnesota

The 65-year-old's body was found after a 30-minute search.

Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 10.07.57 PM

Watch: Man rescued in St. Paul after getting stuck on cliff at 100 feet

The dramatic scene played out in the early hours of Sunday.

Commons Beach, Excelsior

Man drowns while swimming at beach on Lake Minnetonka

It's the second death on the lake in as many days.