“I told her, ‘I don’t know who you are, but I’m here, and I love you, and I’m going to help you,’” Dane said.
Dane Entze and his wife had just returned from their anniversary weekend getaway when their altruism impacted the life of a complete stranger. The bravery of a 36-year-old man from Elk Ridge, Utah, who jumped into a chilly river on November 12 to save a woman who was attempting suicide has been praised. “My wife Kristen and I had just spent the weekend at Lava Hot Springs about an hour south of Idaho Falls,” Dane told FOX.
The couple was on their way to their relatives’ home to pick up their children. They were passing by the location of their first date, Idaho Falls, Idaho. Amazingly, the setting of another moment would alter the course of a person’s life. As she looked down from the bridge to the boat ramp below, Dan’s wife was abruptly startled to see a car speeding down the boat ramp and into the water.
Dane reported that while his wife dialed 911, he drove closer to the vehicle. Dane exited his vehicle because, according to him, it could not get close enough to the boat ramp. He drove to the location where they were, exited the vehicle, scaled the barbed wire fence, ran across the canal, and then went to the boat launch.
Dane observed the vehicle slipping into the treacherous undertow of the river. He then witnessed a woman exiting the vehicle and swimming toward land.”I immediately asked if she was OK and whether there was anyone else in the car,” he said. “She replied, ‘I’m committing suicide and there is no one else in the car, I don’t want to live anymore.’”
The woman reportedly told Dane she did not wish to live and would not swim to him. She then began to swim deeper into the chilly river and away from the beach, despite her diminishing strength. Dane decided at that point to pursue her. The outdoor temperature was 19 degrees. Dane stated, “I told her, ‘I don’t know who you are, but I’m here and I love you and I’m going to help you,’” Dane said.
The woman requested solitude because she lacked the strength to fight him, but he disregarded her requests. “At that point, I threw off my jacket and jumped into the river. Once I got to her, I told her my name and I said I was going to help her out. I put my arms around under hers and began making our way back through the thin layer of ice to the shore where another gentleman had arrived who helped me pull her to safety,” he said.
His wife had prepared blankets for him nearby. Before the arrival of the fire and police departments of Idaho Falls, they were all crowded together. Dane was aware of the limited time he had to save the victim.”I knew we were out of time. She was freezing cold and had no more strength,” he continued. “When she started further out into the river, it was clear the situation was going to get much more serious. I wanted her to get out safely.”
After the arrival of first responders, the couple returned to pick up their children, but this event prompted Dane and his wife to reflect on their own lives.”I think people, including myself, need to simply be nice to those around us. We all have different beliefs, opinions, ideologies, passions, and pains, but we are all on the same journey and we will all have a hard time at some point. I did not choose to be in this position, but I was there at the right time,” he shared.
Dane shares that his own father was a volunteer for a suicide hotline and that he knows many people who have struggled with mental health issues. “I’ve learned, however, that mental challenges may start small and gradually grow to this nagging monster that may leave a person feeling so helpless and alone that they don’t think there is anywhere for relief,” he said.