Off-duty firefighters rescue boaters during Mississippi River fishing tournament

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. — Hayti Fire Department members may not have gotten to finish the Bass Pro Catfish Tournament Saturday, but they did come away with a life-saving catch.

Glen Whitener, assistant chief, and fireman Larry Ray were awaiting results of the fishing tournament when they learned boaters were stranded on the Mississippi River after their boat capsized.

According to a news release from the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Department, four people were in a boat when it began to sink. When the group realized the boat would not make it to shore, one of the individuals jumped out and began pulling the boat and the other three occupants to the bank of the Mississippi River.

The four people were stranded on the bank just north of the Mississippi River Bridge, approximately seven miles south of Caruthersville.

Once Whitener and Ray learned about the boaters, they left the tournament to make the rescue. The rescued individuals were brought back to the Reynolds Park area at Caruthersville where they were checked by medical personnel.

Hayti Fire Chief Milford Chism commended the rescue efforts by the members of his department. The Hayti Fire Department had sponsored Whitener and Ray in the fishing tournament.

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