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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.

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