A Burleson County Sheriff’s deputy and a Burleson County citizen were recognized on Friday for their actions in saving the lives of two men on Monday at Lake Somerville.

Deputy Marshall Bengs (second from left) and
Nathan Benn (second from right) are presented the
Lifesaving Award for their actions to help save the
lives of two men at Lake Somerville on Monday.
(courtesy Burleson Co. Sheriff's Office)

A ceremony was held at the sheriff’s office to present Deputy Marshall Bengs and Nathan Benn with “Lifesaving Awards”.  The honor goes to individuals who perform a lifesaving act under extreme circumstances, including taking direct, immediate and positive action to preserve the life of another person in serious danger.

Authorities responded around 12:45 p.m. on Monday to the Birch Creek boat ramp after receiving a report of two men who had fallen out of a boat and could not swim.  A bystander, now identified as Benn, was eating lunch nearby when he heard yells for help and rushed to assist the two men, who were clinging to an overturned kayak about 35 yards off shore.

According to the sheriff’s office, one of the men, who did not have a life jacket, caught a throw rope and was brought to shore.  The other man was unable to reach the rope, so Benn held the overturned kayak and helped to keep him from going beneath it. 

Bengs observed that the man still in the water was struggling to keep his head above water as his life jacket was sliding up on him.  Bengs removed his tactical vest and gear to swim out and bring him to shore.

The men were cleared by Burleson St. Joseph EMS and released from the scene without injuries. 

Aiding the sheriff’s office at the scene were Texas Parks & Wildlife game wardens and the Birch Creek Volunteer Fire Department. 

Burleson County Sheriff Gene Hermes said Bengs and Benn were awarded for their “extraordinary performance” in saving a person’s life. 

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