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LAKE GEORGE – A retired Buffalo News reporter is recovering in Glens Falls Hospital after he nearly drowned while swimming Monday afternoon off the eastern shore of Lake George at Huletts Landing.

George Gates, 81, told The News Tuesday evening that he was unable to find his footing on rocks while trying to reach a ladder on a dock, started to slip and slide and “it seems like I might have had a heart incident.”

A friend, Louise Davidson, was able to pull Gates to a boat landing area, where Max J. Cerosky, 16, of Albany, who heard calls for help, brought him ashore. “The two of them together saved my life,” Gates said.

Volunteer firefighters and bystanders, including a retired physician, resuscitated Gates and he was taken by ambulance to Glens Falls Hospital. Gates, a City Hall reporter and editorial writer during his 37-year career with The News, retired in 1998.