Sharp-Eyed Woman Helps Rescue Sailors

Published: August 14, 2007 | 6656th good news item since 2003

It’s not every day that a woman in her eighties helps with a lake rescue.

Her name is Gladys Owens, but everyone knows her as Cookie.

She’s 86 years old.

And today, she’s the talk of her retirement home. The building is on the 3100 block of North Sheridan Road, overlooking Belmont Harbor.

“I’m looking straight out at the lake and I’m on the 14th floor and I saw a little, very small boat, and it was very rough water and it looked like there was two men in the water,” Owens told WBBM, describing yesterday’s (Thursday’s) events.

That sent her scrambling for her binoculars.

“Well, yes, when I moved in here my son said everybody in a high-rise should have binoculars,” she said with a chuckle.

Sure enough, she saw through the binoculars what she thought she saw. It was a small sailboat.

“But there was no one out there to come and give them any aid.”

So she called 911.

But the Coast Guard couldn’t find the boat on the rough lake, so they called her back.

WBBM: “So you’ve got binoculars in one hand and a telephone in the other hand..”

Owens: “Yes.”

WBBM: “…and you’re guiding them to the boat.”

Owens: “Yes.”

They found the boat and helped the sailors and called back to say “thanks Mrs. Owens.”

Published in Rescues
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