The Ohio Waterways Safety Council honored two good Samaritans and two groups on Thursday for their efforts to rescue a boater in distress and improve boater safety. The awards were presented at the North American In-Water Boat Show at Cedar Point in Sandusky.
Kayaker Travis Casper had been stranded in Lake Erie for 19 hours before being discovered on July 27 by award recipients, Harlan “Hap” Carlson and Keith Riegelsberger.
“Keith and Hap’s alertness on the water and quick reaction saved Travis’ life,” said Mike Miller, acting chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. “We are grateful to these boaters for answering the call for help and stepping up in this situation. It’s important for all Ohioans to remember if you see something, say something and call 911.”
Miller added the Ohio Waterways Safety Council was also proud to recognize the Firelands Military Group and the Sandusky Fire Department for their efforts in partnering with ODNR to remove a large steel pipe from the Sandusky Bay on July 11. The pipe posed a serious safety hazard for boaters, and these groups had both the equipment and expertise to get the job done and restore safe navigation in time for the busy weekend.
The Waterways Safety Council is a five-member citizen advisory council which provides input on boating issues to the ODNR Division of Watercraft. The ODNR Division of Watercraft ensures boating safety and improved access on Lake Erie, the Ohio River, Ohio’s 600 inland lakes and 60,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways. The division also conducts water safety education, registers and titles watercraft and protects Ohio’s scenic rivers.