A local conservation officer is being recognized for his quick actions that potentially saved the life of a boater on the Brookville Reservoir.
On Sunday afternoon, Brookville resident Don Vander Muelen and his wife were sailing a small sailboat when he was unexpectedly tossed into the water by a gust of wind. Vander Muelen, who was not wearing a life-jacket, attempted to swim toward his boat but the wind was pushing the boat away from him.
Indiana Conservation Officer Travis Wooley spotted Vander Muelen struggling to stay afloat and moved his patrol boat next to him. Vander Muelen was able to be pulled from the water by Wooley without injury.
Vander Muelen has responded by writing a letter of appreciation which states, “Our Father’s Day outing could have ended tragically had it not been for Officer Wooley’s quick actions.”
DNR Officials are reminding all people who enjoy water activities to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life-jacket at all times. Indiana has recorded 26 open water drownings in 2014 with 11 of those victims being less than 18 years old.