Mount Shasta's Skip Tuttle commended for saving swimmer's life

Amanda Hinds Doyle, GateHouse Media California
Skip Tuttle, right, receives a commendation last week from Sheriff Jon Lopey for his life-saving efforts on Lake Siskiyou July 4. Shown left is Lieutenant Bucky Jefferson.

Reserve Deputy Grant “Skip” Tuttle of the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office received a Sheriff’s Commendation Thursday for saving a swimmer from drowning on July 4.

Tuttle, a Mount Shasta resident for more than 30 years and a member of the Sheriff’s Office Water Safety Unit, was operating a departmental water craft on Lake Siskiyou when he encountered a swimmer in distress.

Seeing that the swimmer was in danger of drowning, he positioned a boat for assistance, Tuttle said.

Tuttle pulled the swimmer safely into the watercraft, where he acknowledged that the swimmer was definitely in distress and was suffering from cramps.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for a long time. You can really see it in their eyes,” Tuttle said about someone in severe distress. “He had that look.”

Tuttle said the man he saved was most likely from out of town. He was a Hispanic male about 30 years old.

“I checked him out in the boat. He was coherent... he was shaking my hand so much, I thought it was going to pull my arm out of socket,” he joked.

“There’s no doubt if he hadn’t been there, (the swimmer) would have went under,” said Lieutenant Bucky Jefferson. “Skip did a great job.”

Tuttle said July 4 is a big day at the lake, and approximately 381 boats were on the lake that day.

“Your alert, decisive and professional efforts probably saved a life,” said Sheriff Jon Lopey. “Your actions reflected great credit upon you, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, and the law enforcement profession.”

“It was a good day,” said Tuttle. “We did save a life.”

Tuttle is an active member of the Mount Shasta Elks Lodge, and is involved with their Christmas Food Basket program, the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and Toys for Tots. He is also a member of Sons of Italy.

Tuttle has been in law enforcement for 48 years this year, said Lopey.

“I want to hit 50 years,” said Tuttle.