Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Give This Man A Cold One On The House
A woman is pulled from near the Center Street dam by construction worker Jason Oglesbee on Tuesday. A man who was with the unidentified woman died in the Des Moines River. A rescue team from the Des Moines Fire Department tried several times to rescue the woman but could not get close enough to her. (Andrea Melendez/The Register)
A construction worker dangled from a heavy-duty chain supported by a crane to rescue a woman from the swirling waters of the Des Moines River on Tuesday afternoon.
The dramatic rescue was met with cheers from spectators who had gathered on the banks of the river and nearby bridges after the boat the woman was in went over the Center Street dam.
Minutes before the woman was rescued, a Des Moines fire rescue team pulled the body of the woman's boating companion, a man of about 60, from the river downstream. The man had drowned.
The boat went over the dam shortly after 4 p.m. and the woman, who was also about 60, became caught in a boil just over the dam. She was wearing a life jacket and was partially clothed when she was pulled from the water by Jason Oglesbee, a construction worker for Cramer & Associates in Grimes.
"They just harnessed me up and dipped me down in the water and I grabbed her and the crane drug her to the boat and that's it," Oglesbee said. "What are you going to do if she's like that? It's no big deal. The whole crew did it."
The construction crew rigged Oglesbee to a crane after an initial attempt to rescue her with the crane was unsuccessful. The woman was too weak at that point to hold on to the crane or to life preservers being thrown to her by a fire rescue crew, said Sgt. Joe Gonzalez with the Des Moines Police Department.
This man and his fellow construction workers deserve one Hell of a lot of credit. He literally saved this woman's life by risking his own.
At the same time, our sympathies to the woman who lost her husband in the accident. I'm just glad for their family that this crew was a round to save them from more heartbreak.
Continue reading and picture credit