Ferry Passengers, Fisherman Rescue Woman Trapped Under Boat

Published: May 23, 2006 | 4217th good news item since 2003

A dramatic rescue unfolded on the Wisconsin River near Merrimac on Monday night.

Two passengers on the Merrimac ferry and a fisherman jumped into the river to rescue a woman trapped underneath a boat.

The ferry’s operator said that the woman was in a small boat that tried crossing 15 feet in front of the ferry, but it got caught in the ferry’s cable and flipped over.

Rich Mazur and his 20-year-old daughter, Danielle, were dumped from the small boat into the water. Mazur surfaced, but Danielle became entangled under the boat.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, there was a malfunction with the boat’s motor and it got too close to the ferry line, WISC-TV reported.

David Dill, of Madison, and Rachel Stieve, of Baraboo, said that they heard the father’s screams for help and dove in. Jerry Fredericks, of North Lake, Ill., was fishing in his boat nearby and jumped in to help.

With Dill and Fredericks pulling on her arms and Stieve pushing on Danielle with her feet, they were able to rescue the woman from beneath the boat.

When pulled from the water, the woman wasn’t breathing and had no pulse, WISC-TV reported.

A team of passengers pulled the woman onboard the ferry and began CPR. The woman was eventually revived.

She was taken by helicopter to University Hospital in Madison where she’s in critical condition on Tuesday morning.

Published in Rescues
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