The actions of two men who jumped into a fast-moving canal to save a young girl in the water Thursday evening probably saved her life, according to the Grand Junction Fire Department.

The men spotted the child in the waters of the Grand Valley Canal between 15th and 17th streets shortly before 8 p.m., according to department spokesman Dirk Clingman.

One man dove into the canal, grabbed the girl and held her up while treading water; the other man, half-in, half-out of the canal, helped the man stay afloat, Clingman said.

Ultimately the men were able to get the child up onto the bank.

"In the process, they just kind of ran out of steam," Clingman said.

Fire crews, who received the report at about 7:57 p.m., had trouble finding the pair at first. When they arrived at 8:07 p.m., the men were "just kind of clinging on for dear life" to the edge of the canal, Clingman said.

Firefighters hauled the men out. Clingman said he didn't know the men's names, ages or whether they knew the child. He also didn't know the child's name or age Thursday evening, but said she could have died.

"If they hadn't intervened … she wouldn't have made it," he said. "The canals are very dangerous especially for young people."

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