EXCLUSIVE: MU student reunites with teenager who rescued him from lake

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - A 21-year-old Miami University senior is lucky to be alive after he nearly drowned while at the beach in the Hueston Woods State Park in Preble County around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The victim, Dane Sapp, 21, who knew how to swim, was trying to get a flotation device that had drifted away, but the current was just too strong.

The beach has no lifeguards on duty, but a 15-year-old old boy jumped into action before deputies got to the scene. A day later, Sapp reunited with the teenager who saved his life, showing his gratitude with a big bear hug. He said Zach Mortenson of Seven Mile came to his rescue when he was about to go under the water.

"Right as I yelled for help, I just though it was going to be it, I thought there was no chance that someone would come and save me, because I was at least 50 yards out," Sapp said.

 But at just 5'7" and 130 lbs, Mortenson didn't think twice about sprinting 250 yards down to the beach, jumping into the lake and swimming towards the person he saw struggling in the water.
"All of sudden we started to see him bob up and down and that's when I started sprinting towards the edge of the water and I jumped in and swam out to him, dragged him back in," Mortenson said.
Mortenson just happened to be at the beach was with family friend Joe Garcia, who called 911 after the Miami University senior was rescued and brought to shore.
"I had a shoulder injury, but I had Zach with me and Zach is very strong he's a wrestler, cross country runner, I knew he was in better shape then me," Garcia said.
"I didn't think anyone would really risk their life, especially for me, [him] being that young in age and not even being a lifeguard, just someone who was physically fit and wanted to save a life," Sapp said.
Less than 24 hours later the two guys can shoot pool and laugh together, Mortenson is modest about being called a hero.
"I just did what needed to be done," Mortenson said.
But Dane Sapp begs to differ.
"It's a blessing to actually meet him; I never thought I'd actually love someone so much without even meeting them before in my life, so it's an honor," Sapp said.

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