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Bracebridge, Ont. man who lost his life trying to save another honoured posthumously

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A Bracebridge man who died trying to save a distressed swimmer nearly four years ago is being recognized posthumously for his extraordinary act of heroism.

Kevin Schell, 51, jumped into action on August 24, 2020, when a 24-year-old man visiting Muskoka from Toronto started to struggle in 30 feet of water.

Schell told his daughter to call 911 while he raced to reach the swimmer, who had begun to panic in the strong Muskoka River current.

Two more bystanders immediately jumped into the water to help and managed to bring the swimmer to a buoy and get a life jacket on him.

At some point, Schell disappeared under the water.

Divers searched for hours before recovering his body about 30 feet from where he was last seen.

The swimmer survived despite having inhaled water.

Schell's family will receive the Carnegie Hero Fund in the form of a financial grant for his selfless actions that day. He is among 18 others who risked serious injury or death to save others receiving the honour.

A Carnegie Medal is seen in this social media image. (Twitter / Carnegie Hero Fund)

The fund is North America's highest honour for civilian heroism. Since its inception in 1904, it has granted nearly $45 million in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

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