A man from Minnesota reportedly drowned after he jumped in a river to save his three-year-old son.
According to police, 31-year-old Christopher Schultz jumped from a bridge in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, after his son fell into the water.
Schultz apparently began to struggle as he kept the three-year-old above water. Bystanders reportedly helped bring the toddler back to the shore, though Schultz remained in the water.
Officials searched for the man, and located him around 45 minutes after the incident was first reported. He was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after, as Fox 2 Detroit reports.
According to Bill Wickum, who lives in the area, the spot where the boy fell, and where his dad jumped in, is a particularly dangerous stretch of water.
It is deep, there is a current, but it’s fairly close to where you can touch. Five strokes to where you can probably hit bottom.
Speaking about the incident itself, Wickum added:
You’re a father you’re going to do anything you can to save the kid.
He made the ultimate sacrifice for his son, and I hope his son grows up to be a worthy recipient of that because you can’t think of any greater sacrifice. So, that’s a sad, sad, story.
The child was treated for non-life threatening injuries at hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery.
The tragic incident happened on June 16, and tributes have been pouring in for the young dad.
Matthew Clark, who had known Schultz for 10 years, told Valley News:
Without a hesitation jumping in – that’s heroic, to me that’s an honorable death.
[The] guy just sacrificed his life to make sure his kid could see another day. He wasn’t thinking about anything else other than that.
That’s not how a 3-year-old is expecting that day to end. I really feel for the kids because when they’re calling for daddy they’re not going to understand why he’s not going to be able to come home.
While Kayla Zajaz, who used to go fishing with Schultz, said: ‘My kids always come first before my safety and I would’ve done the same thing.’
A GoFundMe page has been set to help Chris’ family pay for medical and funeral costs for the heroic dad.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.