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Imagine Sitting in Your Car Watching a Boat Pass Over You

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Old 08-22-2011, 10:32 AM
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Finally a story with a happy ending.

http://www.portclintonnewsherald.com...-marina-rescue

DANBURY TOWNSHIP -- Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton presented Lifesaving Awards on Friday afternoon to the five people credited for saving the lives of a Catawba Island couple who were trapped in a submerged vehicle in Fenwick Marina on July 21.

"Everybody just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Bratton said. "We really appreciate what you did out there."

Elsie Henretty, 63, and her husband Garland, 73, had gone to the Carroll Township marina to look at a boat for sale that a friend was considering purchasing.

When parking near the docks, Garland accidentally drove forward, plunging the couple's SUV into an open slip, and toward the marina's bottom 18 to 20 feet below. Their windows were rolled up, and the two were unable to open the doors because of the water pressure.

After placing a 9-1-1 call on her cellphone, Elsie explained to Ottawa County Sheriff's Office dispatcher Heather Dornbusch what happened and where they were.

During the two-and-a-half minute call, Elsie described the water rising inside the vehicle. Meanwhile, Carroll Township Police Chief Jody Hatfield and Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy James Hanney raced to the scene.

Hatfield arrived first, searching the water near the boat ramp, but unable to find the vehicle. Moments later, a dispatcher redirected him to another area in the marina, after getting more specific details from Elsie.

"It was nose down," Hatfield said. "When I got in, she was already trying to get one of the doors open."

Hatfield said they both worked on the rear door, then it opened.

"I grabbed her and she was coming out," he said. "Deputy Hanney got in the water and I passed her off to him."

Hatfield then returned to locate and extract Garland.

Carroll Township volunteer firefighter Kevin Rutledge and Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy James Meek arrived and assisted.

"I've seen them drive cars into the water when they're backing boats in," Hatfield said, "but I've never seen this."

At the lunch and presentation at Cleats Bar and Grill, Elsie said she was very thankful.

"They did a wonderful job," she said. "If it wasn't for them we wouldn't be here today."

While they were submerged, the couple explained, a boat passed by eerily, and they looked up and watched it from below.

"There was nobody around," Garland said. "One boat went up the channel after us."

According to Garland, their friend did, in fact, buy the boat they had originally stopped to look at.

"I told him I already checked the hull and everything," Garland said, laughing.

After 56 years of driving, he added, this was his first crash.

Elsie said she was hoping for something a little different than this when it came to her personal 15 minutes of fame.

And while everyone was all smiles at the Friday afternoon lunch, Bratton got serious at the end.

"In this case it was an act of everybody working together," he said, citing excellent communication and response times.

"And I'm not going to bill them for the rescue," he said, smiling, "since everyone was already on the clock and there was no ice involved."
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:39 AM
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Holy submarine Batman!!!! I am so impressed that they cell service at the bottom of the lake. I dont even have it in my office


Awesome!!
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:06 AM
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wow the department i work for needs there dispatch system.
were lucky to get dispatched within 5 min of the call
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:00 PM
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Holy submarine Batman!!!! I am so impressed that they cell service at the bottom of the lake. I dont even have it in my office
Good one RG


Great all made it out ok.

How the hell do you drive your car into a slip??? Thinking of my grandfather driving when he was that age. Exciting to say the least.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Racegirl3 View Post
Holy submarine Batman!!!! I am so impressed that they cell service at the bottom of the lake. I dont even have it in my office


Awesome!!
No kidding, can you imagine being calm enough to make that call? I cant imagine waiting for help to arrive, seconds had to feel like hours.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:58 PM
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Great story TB thank you!
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:35 PM
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Great story TB thank you!
Kind of funny when I posted this I thought to myself if I only get one response it'll be from Catmando.

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