Area couple donate boat for ice and water rescuesA close call with an ice rescue last spring led to the Davison County Search and Rescue team acquiring a donated flat-bottom boat for ice and water rescues.
By: Melanie Brandert, The Daily Republic
A close call with an ice rescue last spring led to the Davison County Search and Rescue team acquiring a donated flat-bottom boat for ice and water rescues.
In March, emergency personnel were called out to a stock pond near Mitchell when a couple had ventured out onto a pond to retrieve some dogs, Assistant Fire Chief Steve Willis said.
The husband made it to shore, but the wife was stranded 100 to 200 feet from it, clinging to black ice with a flotation device — and no boat could be immediately found to reach her, he said.
Somehow, a small boat was located that was used to rescue her.
“The lady was in the water between 30 and 45 minutes and we couldn’t get to her,” said Jim Montgomery, Davison County emergency management director. “Everybody was going through the ice and it was too deep. …
“If we had access to something like that, it would have taken three-quarters less time.”
That situation made search and rescue team members realize they needed a flat-bottom boat for such rescues, team Lt. Josh Peterson said.
Vicki Lehrman of rural Spencer said she and her husband, Dan, heard of the incident and recalled they had a 16-foot aluminum, flat-bottom boat in storage.
“He thought it would be so much better utilized if the rescue team had it as a resource,” she said. “It might help save a life someday.”
The couple’s son, Jeremy, now 26, had used the boat to fish and hunt for muskrats on the slough on the farm a few miles north of town. The Lehrmans donated the boat shortly after the ice rescue.
This new tool will cut response time with future incidents, Peterson said.
“We’ll have a nice tool at our fingertips to use when there is a water or ice rescue,” he said.
Area businesses have donated services to revamp the boat, including painting, lights and tires, Peterson said.
“When you go from not having anything to have something that works very well, it’s hard to put a value (on it),” he said.