On August 19th, 1995 at 18:00 hours there was an emergency page that went out about a victim who drowned in Robinson Creek. The victim was a father who had been canoeing with his daughters. The group fell into the fast moving currents of Robinson Creek near Black River Falls. Currents were strong and fast and water levels very high due to immense rain waters filling that had recently filled local creeks and rivers. The daughters all survived while the father perished and drowned.
The following Monday, August 21st the Black River Falls Fire Department made the decision to conduct a search for the victim. The mission was not easy with swift moving water and the hazards that come with it.
The group of firemen put together a plan to help bring closure to the missing fathers’ family. While conducting the search, the plan went into the unthinkable. The three firefighters were swept off there feet and pulled into a hydraulic/whirlpool created by the small water fall known as, Polly Falls.
One firefighter was able to kick out and swim safely to shore right away. The other two men were pulled down in the force of the hydraulics where they couldn’t be seen nor reached by staff on shore.
After several minutes they were released from the hydraulics and pulled in by staff from the shore. CPR was immediately administered. Upon successful CPR the second firefighter was breathing again and survived.
Bruce was air lifted directly from the scene to a La Crosse Hospital. Although every effort was made, unfortunately it was deemed there was no neurological activity. The difficult decision was then made by family to cease life support on August 25th, 1995. Among his family left behind were a wife, son and daughter. He is the brother of Keith Cormican; Director of Bruce’s Legacy.
Bruce and Keith talked well before his untimely death, there was a need for a dive unit in the surrounding areas. It was the two brothers’ goal to create a dive rescue unit for the Jackson County. After Bruce’s death, Keith was spurred on to follow thru and was an integral part to creating the Jackson County Dive Unit which he has served as the Unit Director almost entirely, since its inception in 1996.
Bruce and Keith always had a passion to help those in need and now to further honor Bruce’s legacy, Keith has named the organization in honor of his brother. We appreciate your consideration of our efforts to assist those who have succumbed to a tragic water accident.
Please pass on our information so word is spread of our mission. There aren’t many people that do what we do and we can help make searches safer and more efficient for other dive teams, law enforcement agencies and most importantly help families.