' Construction worker saves woman trapped in swirling river' - amazing photos
Edited on Wed Jul-01-09 10:15 AM by Jackeens
A construction worker dangles from a crane, his arm stretched out to reach a terrified woman trapped in swirling water at the base of a dam. These astonishing images show the dramatic rescue of the woman after her boat overturned near the dam on the Des Moines River in Iowa. She was pulled to safety by the quick-thinking construction crew - but her husband, who was with her in the boat when it overturned yesterday, tragically drowned.
'I saw the boat drift down, and he started it up and he hit the bridge base,' construction worker Joe Lowe told local media. 'Then he tried to wrap it up with an anchor or line and then I heard him holler at his wife, put your life jacket on. He didn't have one on.'
The unnamed husband's concern for his wife may have saved her life. Her life jacket kept her afloat in the swirling waters of the river for up more than half an hour as construction worker Jason Oglesbee battled to reach her. Des Moines police Sgt. Joe Gonzalez said the workers saw the woman floating in a boil and they tried to move a crane over to her.
48. Actually it probably isn't; he was wearing a fall harness and his work float vest
It looks like these guys don't cut corners.
Here's an aside. I once got pummeled at the base of a four foot water fall at an insanely high flood stage, it was a river I had run countless times but I just didn't have my A-game with me that day. Not only was there a vicious hole right at the base of the falls, there was a powerful boil just downstream that fed you right back into the hole, plus the banks were severely undercut, as was the waterfall. I was fairly sure I had less than a few minutes to live and was just hoping the burning and gagging from inhaling water would be short lived, and the sense of peace would come quickly.
Thinking about how sad my mom would be that I died like that made me keep fighting. I managed to grab a rock ledge and hold on for ten or fiftenn seconds. That was just long enough for a friend on shore to grab my hands and hold me until the other guys got a rope to me. I can't iamagine every feeling more alone than when I was getting worked in that goddmaned hole. I could see my friends, I could look them in the eye and see the terrified looks, but none of them could get to me. Had I not swam HARD along the seam (paralleling the waterfall) they couldn't have gotten to me.
Just thinking about what this poor woman was going through brings tears to my eyes. I'm glad I don't have to talk to anybody on the phone right now...
Bless him and his buddies, they saved a life. It's a shame the husband died, but there's a lesson to be learned: when on a boat everyone should wear a life jacket, no exceptions. When we go boating even the dog wears one.
"Oglesbee was reluctant to give his name or be interviewed when first approached by members of the media. He later allowed a couple of questions before returning to work. The crew from Cramer & Associates was on hand to construct the high-arching Center Street pedestrian bridge."
Looks as if the woman, although she was 60, was in great physical shape which was why she was able to endure for 40 minutes even with a life preserver. The coordinated efforts by a number of people helped rescue her, although the pics of the construction worker are certainly captivating. It's a good thing they didn't bring their grandchildren that day, as they were hunting for a spot to see fireworks in a few days when this occurred.
I'm two years older and am impressed. It's vital for women to stay in shape as they get older, not just for the cardio but lifting weights increases bone density: http://www.naturalnews.com/010528.html
Cameras showed that there were small signs along the river, warning people of the dam and of the danger. These signs were obstructed by trees and other brush. These signs, although red, were fairly small and were somewhat obscured by other signs that were a lot larger. The media is definitely questioning whether or not there was adequate warning signs and if those signs were large enough and viewable.
Also, there used to be a "grab line" across the river--as you approach the dam. The line spanned the river and contained warning signs. So, if someone was about to go over, they could grab on and prevent going over. For some reason that was not there.
Also, another interesting note. I have a friend who works for the architect firm that has been working on the planning/construction there. This is the reason that the crane was there. My architect friend said that this construction project is months behind, and the construction company is being fined $1,000 daily until the job is finished. This job should have been completed months ago. So....this lady who was saved was the beneficiary of whatever troubles or hold-ups that has held up the construction.
I know that construction was halted for some time. So, it really was very fortunate that the crane, and those brave workers were there when this happened.
in place if the deadline had been met. The line washed away in last year's flooding and wasn't restrung because of the construction work on the pedestrian bridge. There are large orange warning signs dangling from rail trestles and suspension lines 1000 ft upriver from the dam and downriver from the marina where they put in. There is no law mandating the safety line, and the line would have been up if the construction had been completed. So all boaters on the Des Moines River had to be more watchful this season. Dana ; )
20. Goosebumps reading this story. That guy is a hero.
I only have a few moments on DU today, saw this story and had to open it. So glad I did. It's got all the elements: the loss of the husband (so sad), the terror of the woman at the base of the falls (scary!), the heroism of the rescuer and the crane team (wow!)
21. There is something very important about this incident. I think it
shows that we still have many Americans, maybe most Americans, who will stand up and do the right thing when they can if someone points them in the right direction. This is what Obama harnessed to get elected.
40. I looked it up,it says, also, her husband was telling her to put on her lifejacket.
Edited on Wed Jul-01-09 12:12 PM by Judi Lynn
"They pulled up their anchor and they seemed to have the thing running, but then they kind of banged the boat into the false work - that's what we call that rusty steel that's standing out in the river to hold the bridge up," Cramer said. "And so then the man in the boat started yelling at the woman to put her life jacket on.
47. Amazingly good thinking on the part of the construction crew.
The hydraulics that form at the base of low head dams (such as this one) are brutally unforgiving--whitewater instructors never pass up a chance to tell people to NEVER run one of these. WHen I stop and take a look at dams my blood usually runs cold.
There really was no better way to pull off a resuce like this--the crane wouldn't have generated the downwash of a helicopter's rotors. I am saddened by the death of the husband, but humble at the rescue which did occur.
This is a sad and touching story. A man this brave and humble is truly a blessing to his community. I hope he finds happiness throughout the rest of his life.
RIP to her husband. Another hero, there is a saying, "You don't know until you've been tested." Well, this man stepped up and did the right thing. May he know nothing but peace in whatever comes next for him.
I also hope the woman is able to recover from this, I think she will because she also proved herself in that water.
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