Paddler saves swimmer in Hudson

Quick courage on a recent night earns lifesaver award from police department.

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Hudson waterfront. (Greg Seitz/St. Croix 360)

A boater in Hudson on a recent Friday took quick action to rescue a swimmer in trouble. Cully Orstad received a lifesaving award from the Chief of Police for his actions on June 11.

At about 7:30 that evening, Hudson police received word of a swimmer in distress off Lakefront Park in downtown Hudson. The individual was about 150 yards off shore, yelling for help. While police officers stood on shore waiting for St. Croix County to arrive with a rescue boat, the swimmer said he couldn’t keep his head above water much longer.

“While many onlookers took out their phones to record the swimmer in distress, Mr. Orstad responded swiftly and without hesitation,” the award says. “Mr. Orstad obtained his kayak from his boat and frantically paddled to the distressed swimmer.”

Orstad arrived in time, and the swimmer held on to his kayak while he paddled back to shore.

“Mr. Orstad’s recognition of the severity of the emergency, along with his swift actions and bravery resulted directly in saving a life,” chief of police Geoff Willems wrote. “Without his swift action, the situation would have undoubtedly led to a more tragic outcome.”


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2 responses to “Paddler saves swimmer in Hudson”

  1. Jean schreckeis Avatar
    Jean schreckeis

    Hero. A true hero— horrible people taking videos. What’s wrong with our world. Thanks for saving a life

  2. Mark Hove Avatar
    Mark Hove

    Thank you Cully Orstad

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Paddler saves swimmer in Hudson