Homeless man pulls drowning stranger from Clear Creek

GOLDEN, Colo. -- Witnesses who watched a homeless man pull a stranger from Clear Creek on Saturday are commending him for his fast-action and bravery.

James Murray lives in a van near Clear Creek in Golden. He was taking a break from boogie boarding when his friend said he spotted a man floating face-down in the river. Murray ran down stream to the next rapid and jumped in.

"I dived and tackled him and I got his head in my arm and I said, 'I got you bro,' said Murray.

Bob Allen said he watched from shore as Murray brought the stranger to the river bank.

"He was pretty in control but he was paddle like crazy, trying to get to the side," said Allen. "He’s the hero, no question about it."

Once on shore, an off-duty paramedic started CPR. The 45-year-old man did not survive.

Murray is devastated the man couldn't be saved.

"I don’t feel too good, you know?" said Murray.

During his time along Clear Creek, Murray said he's pulled multiple people stuck in the rapids. He wants to see electronic signs installed, updating people on the river's conditions. Murray hopes that increases river safety and makes people become more cautious.

"I feel like I have to be here in case someone else has to drown. I feel like I can’t go away," said Murray.

Investigators said in the drowning death Saturday, they do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role. Right now, the river is flowing under 700 cubic feet per second. Golden Police close the river to swimmers when it reaches 1,000 cubic feet per second.

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