The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 15, 2013

Two rescued from rain-swollen Conneaut Creek

Firefighters ferry boy, woman to safety

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — A stroll along Conneaut Creek for a boy and a woman Thursday night turned into a rescue operation when the pair became trapped by high, fast-moving water, authorities said.

Firefighters were called to a stretch of the creek in the vicinity of South Parrish Road and the former Bluebell Isle campground/picnic grove around 9:15 p.m., said Conneaut Fire Chief Steve Lee. They discovered a 12-year-old boy and a woman in her 60s, out for a “nature walk,” had somehow wound up on the north side of the creek and found themselves pinned down by the rushing water, he said.

The pair were still on land but were unable to move to a safe spot, Lee said.

The department’s airboat, housed at Fire Station 3, was put into the water near the trapped pair, Lee said. The boat reached the victims, firefighters loaded them in and successfully ferried them back to the other shore, he said.

The victims were “chilled to the bone” but otherwise in good shape, Lee said. They did not want medical attention and left the scene soon after their rescue, he said. They are Conneaut residents but names were not immediately available Friday afternoon.

Maneuvering the airboat in the rain-swollen creek was tricky business, Lee said.

“The guys did a heckuva nice job with the airboat,” he said. “There’s certainly a degree of skill involved.”

Crews cleared the scene around 1:30 a.m., Lee said.