Another rescue operation took place this afternoon at the pump station dam near my house. This time it was my turn to be suspended on the cable over the dam in the rescue chair.
I came to the house this aftrernoon briefly to get some papers I needed. While I was looking for them there was a knock on the door. A visiting neighbor lady calmly asked what do we do when there are people caught below the dam. I immediately looked across at the dam and sure enough there was a boat with two guys caught in the back wash. I ran down there while instructing her to get my neighbor Brian. He got there just as I untied the chair. I asked him if he wanted the honors and he quickly declined. The guys in the boat were getting slammed back into the wall. They were using their oars pushing against the dam wall. The raft was full of water and in immediate danger of flipping over which would have been disastrous. I pulled myself on the cable until I was directly over them, got the hand winch line with the harness down to them and yelled to hold onto it tight. I motioned to Brian to start pulling me back as he had the rope which is attached to the cable chair and it was a good thing that he was there. Trying to hand over hand on that cable pulling someone out of that backwash is extremely difficult. He pulled and we managed to get them out of the back wash and to the shore.
Their rods were broken and tackle and gear had been washed away but they were alive and very grateful.
These were two young college age guys in great shape but when the river got them in that hydraulic below the dam they were helpless. I asked them what happened and with heads hanging low they said they thought they could make it and almost did. I said yeah and you almost died and I think the next time you better portage like all the signs say. They immediately agreed.