Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recreational boaters become first responders to auto accident

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs

Date: May 21, 2012
Contact: Christopher Todd
Public Affairs Officer
 Phone Number: (305)490-6030
Email: ctodd@auxpa.org

News Release

Recreational boaters become first responders to auto accident

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. – Recreational boaters are credited with saving the life of a 25 year-old woman who was seriously injured in a single car accident on Saturday, May 19.  An SUV driven by a 29 year-old man and the woman left Highway 16 and rolled several times down an embankment into the Oconowomoc River. 

Recreational boater Steve Hummer was one of the first people on the scene.  He had just finished launching his boat at a nearby ramp when the crash occurred.  He quickly got underway and headed to the scene, where he saw the bloodied driver exiting the vehicle, and the woman floating face down in the river. 

Just then another boat of fisherman rounded the corner.  One of the men jumped out of the boat and got the woman’s head above water, holding her until rescuers arrived.  Hummer helped shuttle the rescuers to the scene and transport the victims to air ambulance helicopters waiting on the highway.

Okauchee Lake Fire Department Chief Tracy Steele said they are lucky boaters were in the area, according to TODAY’s TMJ4 in Milwaukee.  Steele called the men heroes. 

“Boaters often find themselves in unique situations to render assistance in times of emergency,” said Tom Nunes, Director of Government and Public Affairs for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  “Having the presence of mind to stay calm, operate your vessel safely, provide first aid, and efficiently communicate with rescue personnel, are all paramount when lives are on the line.” 

Boaters interesting in learning more about maritime search and rescue operations, and recreational boating safety, are invited to contact their local Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla or visit cgaux.org for additional information. 

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary created by an Act of Congress in 1939 is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard supporting the Coast Guard in nearly all its missions.  For more information on the Coast Guard Auxiliary, please visit cgaux.org