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Heroes of Everyday Life 2014 No. 19 - Friends save man from drowning

Are now friends for life: Savior Dirk (l.) With Wolfgang (M.) and Manfred
Photo: Sybill Schneider / BILD NEWSPAPER

Violent currents in the Baltic Sea would have cost Wolfgang Zolk almost the life

Drama in the Baltic Sea: Wolfgang Zolk (52) almost drowned - at the last second his savior pulls him out of the water.

It was the worst holiday week on the Baltic Sea: a gusty northeast wind of magnitude 7 and 8, strong waves and violent currents made for danger. Despite warnings but many bathers could not be prevented from swimming. Deadly recklessness: From 18 to 22 July at least eight people died on the Baltic coast.

Also Wolfgang Zolk (52) from Elmshorn (b. Hamburg) would almost have drowned. For 20 years, the warehousekeeper and his wife Karen (45) have been camping at Kleinwaabs on Eckernf├Ârde Bay.

That he still lives, he owes a brave man: Dirk Bronnert (42) heard his cries for help and did not hesitate a second and pulled Wolfgang Zolk from the water. Lifesaving Dirk: "It was a show of strength, a fight against the waves."

He manages to bring the heavy man (Zolk weighs 92 kilos) ashore, where helpers take care of him. Zolk has cuts from the whirling shells and stones everywhere. How could the bathing drama come about? Wolfgang Zolk wanted to cool down with his friend Manfred Schl├╝ter (45) only briefly: "We were up to the chest in the water, the sun was shining and the waves looked great."

The current pulls the friends under the water

But when they want to swim back, both realize how they are being aborted. "I suddenly had no ground under my feet and the current pulled me under the water. Then I got panic ", Wolfgang describes. Whenever the two can get some air, the next wave spills over their heads and a strong pull pulls them down. "I just yelled at Manni for help."

Manfred wants to help - but can not! Again and again he tries to swim to him, but he is too weak. "I saw panic in his eyes and screamed out for help because I could not grab him."

Dirk Bronnert, who is looking for his daughter's mask, hears the call for help. He pulls Wolfgang to a stone, where they find both stops. Saved!

Dirk Bronnert after his heroic act: "I am a practiced swimmer, I do sports. I would never have thought what incredible powers are working in the Baltic Sea. " A doctor who happened to be there, supplies him. "It's your second birthday, " says Zolk from all sides. In the meantime he is well again. But the shock is deep: "At night I dream of it again and again. I never thought that such a harmless situation could be life-threatening. "

He is eternally grateful to his life saver. On the Friday after the accident, the men sat together at their campsite and promised to stay in touch for a lifetime. "Dirk is one of us now."

Text: Ann-Christin Fischer

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