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Woman connects with husband’s rescuers

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Aug 29, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Dennis Reigler nearly drowned while trying to save a young girl.

After searching for her husband’s rescuers, Kathy Reigler connected with the two young men from Holland and thanked the two in person for helping her family.

On Aug. 12, Kathy and Dennis Reigler were spending the day at Holland State Park. When Dennis Reigler, a former member of the Navy, saw a young girl struggling in the water, he jumped in to save her.

The current by the pier was too strong, however, and Dennis Reigler started to struggle too. Two jet skiers came to the rescue and brought Dennis Reigler and the girl to shore.

Since the incident at the pier, Kathy Reigler has been searching for her husband’s rescuers.

“If it was not for the jet skiers, I would be planning a funeral,” Kathy Reigler told The Sentinel.

After circulating her email and wish to thank the jet skiers in The Sentinel, the jet skiers contacted Kathy Reigler the same day the article about the rescue was published.

“As big a town as this is, the kid and his friend went to school with my kids,” Kathy Reigler said. ”(They’re) two very good kids that I hope go a long way in life.”

The couple met up with the rescuers, Jared Overbeek and Blake Dewitt, to thank them for their actions on Aug. 12.

Both Overbeek and Dewitt graduated from Hamilton High School in 2014, and Dewitt is a senior at Hope College this year.

Kathy Reigler calls Overbeek’s and Dewitt’s actions “simple non-selfish acts (that) are a graceful act from above.”

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