SKOWHEGAN — A Clinton mother of three was credited Thursday with pulling an unconscious man and his young daughter to safety from deep water at Lake George Regional Park.

Renee Dostie, 30, who was at the park with friends and family, said she saw the child bobbing up and down in the water about 50 feet from shore and jumped in to help.

“A woman started yelling that she needed someone that was a strong swimmer — her daughter needed help,” said Dostie, who is a waitress at Ruby Tuesday’s in Waterville. “I started swimming out there. I didn’t know that there was a guy out there, too.”

Dostie said the girl, about 5 years old, was “freaking out” and appeared to be pushing her father under the water in her efforts to stay afloat.

“Her father didn’t come up at all. His head didn’t come out of the water at all,” she said. “None of us could touch bottom. I told the little girl that she needed to calm down. I just grabbed her arm and pulled them in. I made the mother come out and pull us to shore.”

By then others had joined in the effort and called 911, Dostie said. The man regained consciousness and was taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital to be checked out.


The girl was fine, Dostie said.

The father, Paul Borneman III, 33, of Nantucket, Mass., was listed as a near drowning victim, but was in good condition, said Robert Salisbury, a nursing supervisor at the hospital. Salisbury said Borneman was in the emergency room Thursday afternoon and would be admitted overnight for observation. The identity of the girl and her mother were not released.

Dostie’s sister-in-law Stacey Ramer said Dostie was a hero who saved the day.

Ramer said she, her husband and a couple of friends had gone to the park with Dostie, her children and a niece Thursday and were eating a picnic lunch when they saw the child in the water.

She said it appeared that the girl was drowning and the man was unconscious.

“I looked up to see Renee swimming with all of her strength to deeper water,” Ramer said. “Renee started pulling the little girl in to shore and seemed to really be struggling. That was when I saw that she was dragging two people — the little girl and a man. He was unconscious and under water flat on his back.


“She definitely saved that man. He never came above water once.”

Capt. Shawn Howard of the Skowhegan Fire Department said Borneman appeared to have become fatigued in the water, lost consciousness and went under.

“Bystanders went into the water were able to get to him, pull him out of the water before we got there,” Howard said. “When we got there he was conscious and breathing. We took his vitals and monitored him until EMS arrived.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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