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Woman rescues man who fell into water at Barcelona Harbor

Barcelona Harbor

WESTFIELD — A woman who jumped into the water at Barcelona Harbor to rescue an elderly man who fell while feeding ducks Monday is being hailed as a hero.

Westfield firefighters were called to the harbor around 6:15 p.m. for reports of a man in the water.

Westfield Fire Chief Chris Reese said first responders learned a woman, identified as Mia Goot, had been watching the man feeding ducks when he slipped and fell into Lake Erie.

“She saw him go in face down,” Reese told The Post-Journal. “She ran over to assist and he was still face down, so she wasn’t sure if he hit his head.”

“The miracle part,” he continued, “is that Mia doesn’t swim. She jumped in to rescue him as he had floated out a bit.”

Another person nearby witnessed the incident and called 911.

Goot was able to retrieve the fallen man and bring him back to the rocks. The man, reportedly a Mayville resident who frequents the harbor, was transported to the hospital for an evaluation and later released, Reese said.

“It’s pretty heroic,” Reese said. “It doesn’t happen too often.”

The fire chief also credited the fire department’s EMS manager, Jamie Jaynes, and Chautauqua County EMS for quick response to the harbor. He noted that first responders have been called several times to the water for swimmers in distress or for those who have fallen in. He said the situation Monday could have ended badly.

“The man told us, ‘I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her,'” Reese said.

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