Archives for December 2013

David Allen Hartke Search and Recovery

David Allen Hartke UTV Lake Ponderosa Montezuma IowaDavid Allen Hartke UTV Lake Ponderosa Montezuma Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By JoDee Brooke of the Banner Journal

        Bruce’s Legacy Director Keith Cormican and fellow diver Ed Davis wasted no time in heading to Montezuma, IA, to assist in the recovery of a 57-year-old man who had gone through the ice on Lake Ponderosa while riding his UTV. The man and a fellow fisherman friend were headed back off the ice Saturday (Dec. 14 around dusk. The first machine made it to shore. The second machine was following behind when the front end of the UTV dropped through the ice about 100 yards from shore. The two friends grabbed hands as the machine fell into 14 feet of water.

“There is no dive team in that county,” explained Cormican. “From what we were told, the 9-1-1 call came in around 6:30 p.m. The first dive team from two counties away arrived around 10 p.m.  They only had a couple of divers trained for ice diving, which in this case by now was a recovery.”

Two other dive teams showed up by Sunday and continued searching until Monday. They had located the UTV but not the fisherman.

A friend of the family contacted Cormican Monday morning conveying the initial dive teams had done all they could do. Poweshiek County Emergency contacted another dive team from southern Iowa. Team members arrived from Red Oak, IA, Monday afternoon.

“I knew the body had to be within 20 feet of where he went through,” explained Cormican. “I talked with members of the other dive teams, and they explained they had little visibility and almost none once they stirred by bottom of the lake. In any ice conditions, there should be some visibility if they just swim along the bottom.”

Emergency management placed a call to Cormican Tuesday morning asking him if he could assist. Cormican and Davis arrived later Tuesday afternoon after traveling icy roads and coming upon semis in the ditch.

“I kept thinking, they’re going to call any minute and tell us they found him.”

“I talked to the other divers when we got there,” said Cormican. “We knew the UTV ‘dirt-darted’ into the dirt. The other divers had opened a door on the UTV and found nothing, all the while thinking it was a two-seater. They told me they’d cleared, which means no one was in the vehicle.”

Cormican said he has a real hard time going to sleep at night until he’s recovered any body he’s been called to help recover. As he continued gathering information, he noticed a UTV similar to the one the victim had been riding. It had four doors and a back seat. He also remembered one of the earlier divers saying they’d seen an ice auger in the back seat.

“They had only cleared the front seat,” explained Cormican. “Tuesday night, they went back out there, and we found him in the back seat of his UTV. The water’s force pushed him into the back seat and prevented

him from being able to get out.”

“It was a sad deal,” shared Cormican. “the family had to go through a lot. The divers exhausted themselves and they could have died. A lot was learned, though.”

“If we wouldn’t have gone down there, those other divers would have been packed up and gone home,” Cormican said. “We’re just there to help these dive teams.  We’re not there to take anything away from any other divers. You learn over the years. I’ve been there, but you learn.”

Cormincan said the ice thickness of five inches probably wasn’t thick enough to sustain the machines’ weight.

Bruce’s Legacy continues to seek donations to help fund an ROV -remotely operated vehicle.

Utilizing an ROV will allow for the deployment of a machine into the depths instead of a diver. This method is safer and more often less time-consuming. This efficiency is important when trying to cover a body of water. It’s also crucial to know exactly what questionable objects are so divers can be certain what the objects are.

 

Ice Fisherman’s Body Found – David Allen Hartke

The search for David Allen Hartke,  who fell through the ice on Lake Ponderosa near Montezuma ended successfully with his recovery Tuesday evening.

David Allen Hartke Ice Fisherman Found

According to Chris Widmer, chief, Montezuma Volunteer Fire Department, divers located David Allen Hartke, 57, Grundy Center, at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. Hartke reportedly fell through a weak spot in the ice on Lake Ponderosa while ice fishing Saturday evening, Dec. 14. The Ranger and ice hut he was using also fell into the lake.

The initial dive teams had located both the Ranger and the hut Saturday night, but the Ranger was resting on its roof in approximately 14 feet of water.

After four days of divers searching the area, they located Hartke inside the Ranger after they were able to roll the vehicle over.

“The search wouldn’t have ended successfully without the help of the divers who volunteered their time,” Widmer said. Dive teams from Johnson County Metro Dive Team and the Central Iowa Underwater Search and Rescue team arrived on the scene on Saturday evening. Divers with the Midwest Regional Dive Team continued the search on Monday.

Bruce’s Legacy, a not-for-profit search and recovery organization from Wisconsin arrived Tuesday evening and will remove the Ranger from the lake Wednesday.

“The overwhelming support of area volunteer firefighters, the Lake Ponderosa community and area businesses were invaluable throughout the four days,” said Trisha Rooda, Poweshiek County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Article from: www.woi-tv.com

Hampton Iowa – Second Return to Ice Dive

November 21st and 22nd we traveled to Hampton Iowa to look for the missing man, Eathan Kazmerak. Once we arrived back home our post processing produced a target of interest. The shape in the sonar imaging too closely resembled that of a body.

Phone calls and emails were relayed with Story County in Iowa to go over to the pond and dive. However the cold weather produced enough ice on the ponds surface they were not able to dive the pond. They didn’t have enough divers certified in ice diving.  We felt strongly enough to make the 8 hour roundtrip back to Iowa and dive ourselves rather than wait until spring for the ice to thaw.

Arrangements were made with local law enforcement for an enclosed trailer to be heated. Given the low temperatures this helps tremendously while suiting up for a dive below the ice.

Hampton Chief of Police Mr. Schaeffer, Franklin County Sheriff Richtmeier, and Franklin County EMA Coordinator Mr. Craighton helped make the necessary arrangements and stood on the ice with us the entire time. A testament to their dedication and fortitude to help the Kazmerak family. It wasn’t exactly 75 degrees and sunny on 7 inches of ice.

Using GPS coordinates from the original sonar image, we placed ourselves in the general vicinity of the intended target. Then a triangle was cut in the ice with a chainsaw to allow access for the diver. Using a search and recovery designed ‘search pod’ below the ice, on the pond bottom; helped facilitate search patterns. Our pictures don’t have the search pod visible but this device works extremely well.

Keith suited up to make the dive. After coming upon some concrete blocks, it was assumed this was the object we were after. Concrete blocks sound less than exciting however it still provides hope for the family Ethan will return home and clears our conscience that it wasn’t a body that we left behind in late November.

Our sonar equipment is phenomenal and the images are equally fantastic. Yet, we come across so many objects that are intriguing but we cannot ascertain exactly what they are. These are sonar images; not digital images like that of your camera. That is why we are actively seeking donations to help fund an ROV -Remotely Operated Vehicle.

Utilizing an ROV will allow us to deploy a machine into the depths instead of a diver. This method is safer and more often less time consuming. This efficiency is important when trying to cover a body of water. It’s crucial to know exactly what these questionable objects are so we can be certain it’s not the victim or evidence we are after.

If you would like more information about our organization feel free to contact us.

Diver finds man alive 60 hours after tugboat sinks

This happened awhile back and I remember reading about it but details were vague at the time. It sounded impressive and I was surprised there wasn’t more press. Now, months later there is footage and plenty of press surrounding this incredible ordeal. Harrison Okene has a sure book deal in his future and the recover team has plenty to talk about over beers for several years. I doubt people would believe them had it not been for the video footage they took.

We at Bruce’s Legacy applaud all involved in the safe recovery of Mr. Okene and solemn thoughts are with those of the deceased.

The diver assumed all 12 men aboard the tugboat had died after it capsized about 20 miles off the coast of Nigeria last May. But as he searched for bodies, he found Harrison Okene — who survived in a small air pocket inside the ship nearly three days after it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

SEE THE VIDEO HERE: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/dramatic-video-shows-moment-diver-finds-man-alive-60-hours-tugboat-sinks-article-1.1536166#ixzz2mWXTMokT

A diver swimming through the wreckage of a capsized tugboat off the coast of Nigeria assumed the crew had drowned and was only searching for bodies. As the diver maneuvered his way through the overturned Chevron vessel more than 60 hours after it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean last May, a hand suddenly emerged from the murky water and grabbed him.

The diver found Harrison Okene, 29, alive nearly three days after the tugboat capsized and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The cook was the only person of the 12-man crew to survive.
The diver found Harrison Okene, 29, alive nearly three days after the tugboat capsized and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The cook was the only person of the 12-man crew to survive.

The hand belonged to Harrison Okene, 29, the ship’s cook and the only person from the 12-man crew who survived.

Harrison Okene managed to survive with no food and only sips of Coca-Cola.

Harrison Okene managed to survive with no food and only sips of Coca-Cola.

Recently released footage of the rescue shows the dramatic moment Okene was saved.

“He’s alive! He’s alive!” the diver told his team, according to a clip that aired on NBC’s ‘Today.’

The diver assumed everyone aboard the overturned tugboat had died when a hand emerged from the murky water and grabbed him.

The diver assumed everyone aboard the overturned tugboat had died when a hand emerged from the murky water and grabbed him.

“Just reassure him,” a colleague tells him. “Just reassure him. Pat him on the shoulder.”

Okene was rescued from the wreckage after he was found alive inside the tugboat, which capsized due to heavy swells about 20 miles off the coast of Nigeria.

Okene was rescued from the wreckage after he was found alive inside the tugboat, which capsized due to heavy swells about 20 miles off the coast of Nigeria.

Divers helped free Okene, who was put in a decompression chamber for another 60 hours before he was allowed to go back to his home town of Warri, a city in the Niger Delta. Okene managed to survive for nearly three days in a small air pocket inside the Jacon-4 tugboat with no food and only sips of Coca-Cola.

The 29-year-old cook was the only person to survive after a tugboat capsized off the coast of Nigeria last May. The body of one victim was never found.

The 29-year-old cook was the only person to survive after a tugboat capsized off the coast of Nigeria last May. The body of one victim was never found.

“I was so hungry but mostly so, so thirsty,” he told Reuters after he returned home. “The salt water took the skin off my tongue.” But Okene didn’t believe he would die from starvation. “I was there in the water in total darkness just thinking it’s the end,”. “I kept thinking the water was going to fill up the room, but it did not.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/dramatic-video-shows-moment-diver-finds-man-alive-60-hours-tugboat-sinks-article-1.1536166#ixzz2mWXuJ0qV

Credit to the NY Daily News and Joe Kemp for the article   jkemp@nydailynews.com

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