LA CROSSE, WI—Proceeding with great deliberation, bystander Albert Preston carefully considered every possible option Thursday while attempting to discern the best way to respond to the plight of a man who appeared to be drowning in the nearby Black River. "Hold on!" Preston yelled out after thoroughly reviewing the steps of CPR, using landmarks on the shore to estimate the speed at which the current was violently rushing the victim downstream, and performing an honest self-evaluation of his own skill as a swimmer. "How much would you say you weigh?" At press time, Preston was calculating which of five available branches, if any, would be both long enough to reach the drowning man and strong enough not to break during an attempt to pull him to safety, as well as considering what he might say to the man after rescuing him.