Dayton man to be honored for saving life of girl, 8

A Dayton man will be honored Friday for saving the life of an 8-year-old girl who was alone and struggling to keep her head above water at Lake Rathbun in southern Iowa this summer, according to the Iowa Red Cross.

Jerry Goeders will be recognized as Iowa’s 2017 Citizen Hero during halftime of the Hy-Vee Heroes Game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.

It was 40-year-old Goeders’ last day of vacation with his family at Lake Rathbun in Moravia when he heard a couple screaming for help as a young girl struggled to stay above water far from the shore.

Goeders sprinted down a hill, ran across the beach and jumped into the water, swimming a long distance to reach the girl. He was able to get a hold of her, and assured her during the swim back to shore that everything would be all right, the Red Cross said.

Without Goeders’ selfless, quick action and strength during the tiring swim across the lake, the outcome could have turned tragic for the child, according to the Red Cross.