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Water rescue: Supervisors honor brother, sister who saved woman in Lake Wildwood

Nathan DuPont knew it was too cold to be swimming in March.

“Even as a swimmer myself, I thought it was unusual to be swimming that early,” the 15 year old said.

Nathan went to his sister’s room and together they looked out a window onto Lake Wildwood on March 20.

Sydney DuPont, 12, said the woman at that point was yelling for help.

“I decided to go out and save her,” she said.

The pair, recounting their story on Tuesday, stood before the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and were recognized for their actions. Both received a youth leadership award.

“Obviously, very proud that they stayed calm and acted to save this woman without thinking,” said their mother, Stephanie DuPont.

Their parents weren’t home at the time as the kids grabbed a paddleboard. Sydney paddled toward the woman. Nathan found his neighbors and had them call for help.

On the paddleboard, Sydney reached the woman and her dog.

“She was purple/white,” Sydney said. “I had to hold her head above water.”

Neighbors had a kayak, soon reaching Sydney, the woman and her dog. A rope connected to the kayak enabled the neighbors and Sydney to get the woman and dog to shore. The woman, too weak to move, stayed on the paddleboard as people around her wrapped her in blankets. Paramedics then arrived.

Supervisors praised the pair on Tuesday. Supervisor Dan Miller said heroes are people who think about others instead of themselves.

“I can see the bond between you two,” he added. “You didn’t really think. You just react.”

Nathan told supervisors he and his sister worked to save the woman without having a plan.

“I don’t think I could have done this without my sister, who I love,” he said. “Without her, I don’t know if I’d be standing here today.”

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor of The Union. He can be reached at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4249

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