BAY VILLAGE, Ohio - Clint Kranes, of Elyria, was at Huntington Beach in Bay Village with his daughters and their friend for about 20 minutes Monday when he heard a woman screaming that a child disappeared.
Kranes said he didn't think twice and jumped in the lake.
"It could have been my kid and I was in the Navy as well. So, it was just instinct. That's it," Kranes said. "We got the little girl out completely first and then we started looking to see if anybody else was in there. We saw her and the lifeguards had already gone to get her."
Kranes' daughter, Devyn, was out of the water by that time and watched her father face the danger.
"I was pretty upset. I was like Dad, get out of the water. I don't want you to go under," Devyn said.
Devyn called her dad a hero, a distinction he had heard before having served in the Gulf as a member of the Navy.
According to the Cleveland Metroparks, 9-year-old Diamond Harris, and 46-year-old Laura Recco, were in the water needing help around 10:44 a.m. Monday. Lifeguards don't go on duty until 11 a.m., when the beach officially opens for swimmers.
Lifeguard, 19-year-old Christian Pesarchick, also needed to be rescued.
Recco and Harris were part of a group of students and teachers at Huntington Beach for an end of the school year outing.
Kranes just happened to be at the beach at the same time. He told NewsChannel5 he didn't realize how rough the water was. But he said he's glad he was there.
"I honestly hope everybody comes out of it OK. That's all that matters. I'm exhausted but it was worth it," he said.
Kranes didn't need any medical attention.
Early Monday morning, NewsChannel5 checked on the conditions of the three people rescued. Laura Recco remains in critical condition at St. John Westshore Hospital. Christian Pesarchick was discharged from that same hospital.
Diamond Harris is in stable condition at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.