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Teens hailed for rescue
Four saved swimmers in Lanier
Teen Heroes 1 es WEB
Angelo Santiago shares stories of his hospital stay with his rescuers, from left, Joey Hinkle, Amanda Addington, Dylan Hall and Mitchell Hall on Thursday afternoon at Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. The four teens rescued Santiago and another man from drowning over Labor Day weekend. - photo by Emily Saunders
In a special ceremony Wednesday, authorities honored four teenagers for their life-saving actions during a late summer holiday weekend.

The teens, Amanda Addington, Joey Hinkle and Mitchell Hall, all 17, and Hall’s 14-year-old brother Dylan, received plaques from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

They were commended for pulling two struggling swimmers out of Lake Lanier on Aug. 30 and bringing them to safety.
One of the swimmers, 22-year-old Angelo Santiago of Suwanee, personally thanked the group Wednesday.

“Without you guys, I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said. “I thought I was gone for sure ... you guys are the real heroes.”

On the day of the incident, Santiago had passed out from exhaustion while trying to swim to a nearby island with his friend, Max Soubannarath.

The teenagers, who were riding by in a pontoon boat driven by Addington, spotted the swimmers. Hinkle and Mitchell Hall jumped in the water and swam over to the men.

With Dylan Hall’s assistance, they pulled the swimmers into the boat and then drove them to shore where emergency personnel were waiting.

Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton presented the teens with the plaques.

“We are honoring all four of them today for their heroic efforts and stepping up and doing the right thing,” he said.

The teens’ families, beaming with pride, accompanied them Wednesday.

Eric Addington, said he was “elated” for his daughter and her friends.

“I can’t be any prouder,” he said. “To be able to do that without even thinking is incredible.”

John Hall, father of Mitchell and Dylan, noted that the teens remembered to use a safety buoy to help pull the men out of the water.

“It’s just amazing,” he said. “We practice safe boating and I can’t believe they remembered all those things under pressure ... they acted responsibly and used their skills.”

Mitchell and Dylan Hall live in Forsyth County but attend Sequoyah High School in Canton.

Addington lives in Woodstock and attends Polaris Evening School, while Hinkle is an Alpharetta resident who attends Creekview High School.

The teens said they met in middle school and have remained friends since.

E-mail Julie Arrington at