The Natrona County Sheriff's Office is crediting the "incredible heroism" of one its deputies in saving the life of two people who could have drowned in the North Platte River over the weekend.

The sheriff's office says dispatchers received a report on Saturday afternoon of an inflatable raft carrying five people down the North Platte River that punctured and sank. No one on the raft was wearing a life jacket.

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According to the sheriff's office, one person swam to shore, two managed to make their way onto an island and two females grabbed overhanging tree branches from the island.

"The two females were not able to get onto the island due to the steep bank, swift current and lack of energy," the sheriff's office said.

Deputy Dexter Bryant was first on the scene followed by Sergeant Mark Bahr, who positioned himself downstream with a throw rope in case one of the females let go.

"One expressed they were running out of energy and would not be able to hold on much longer and the other female feared her friend would drown if she let go of the branch," the sheriff's office said. "Deputy Bryant, knowing immediate action was critical to the preservation of life, could not wait for responding watercraft."

So, Bryant took off his vest, gunbelt and boots before putting on a life jacket and swimming out to the island. There, Bryant was able to pull both females out of the water and onto the island. Eventually, everyone was reunited on the shore with the assistance of fire personnel and their watercraft.

Said Bahr: "I'm exceedingly proud of Deputy Bryant. I believe he no doubt saved at least one if not two lives today."

Meanwhile, Undersheriff John Harlin described Bryant's actions Saturday as "incredible heroism that should be recognized."

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