Trooper Arthur McNew, 34, of the Jonesville post, had responded to a property line dispute between residents at Cub Lake in Cambria Township, about five miles south of Hillsdale, when he heard an emergency air horn go off.
Trooper McNew heard a woman about 40 yards offshore shouting that her granddaughter was hurt and in the water.
Marilyn Michael, of 3915 Archwood Lane, Toledo, had been operating a pontoon boat when the boat's propeller struck her 6-year-old granddaughter, who was swimming in the lake, troopers said.
After radioing for help, Trooper McNew shed his gun belt and jumped into the water fully clothed, including a bulletproof vest and wool pants.
He found Ms. Michael's granddaughter, identified by troopers only as Emma, on a raft attached to the pontoon.
Her right leg had been cut and was bleeding, he said.
The pontoon boat would not start, so several observers aided Trooper McNew in getting the boat to shore, which took about 10 minutes.
"It seemed like forever," Trooper McNew said.
Emma was taken to Hillsdale Community Health Center where she was treated and released.
Ms. Michael declined a request to be interviewed.
Trooper McNew said he was impressed with how Emma handled the situation.
"She did wonderful. I was very impressed with her."
And he was pleased that a potential tragedy was averted.
"It's kind of funny," he said. "I go to so many of these complaints. It's a routine thing. Then something like this happens. I was happy to be there and help out in any way I can."
Post Commander Lt. William Kanouse said he was not surprised at the outcome.
"I think it's basically kind of what Michigan State troopers are all about. We're out here to help people. They are very well trained. When a decision needs to be made they make the right decision, and they do what is necessary. That is exactly what he did."
Contact George J. Tanber at: