Chesterton Tribune



DNR: Wife saves nonswimmer husband's life when his boat overturns

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A St. John woman saved her husband’s life on Friday, after the non-swimmer’s boat overturned while he was fishing on Mirror Lake, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

According to the DNR, on Friday evening William Heidenreich, 67, was turning his boat around to row to shore when it overturned. Heidenreich’s wife of more than 45 years, Roberta, saw him go in and, knowing him to be a non-swimmer, grabbed a life vest and Type IV U.S. Coast Guard-approved seat cushion, jumped into the water herself, and dog-paddled the 100 yards to her husband, an arm through each flotation device.

Heidenreich, who’d already gone under twice, was about to go under a third time when his wife reached him and handed him a floatation device, the DNR said.

Then, acting quickly, Orange Township firefighter Ty Conley rowed a nearby boat to rescue the couple and tow them back to safety at the shore.

Although shaken, neither Heidenreich was injured, the DNR said. Indiana Conservation Officer Rod Clear is investigating the incident.

The quick, decisive and brave actions of Roberta Heidenreich saved her husband's life,” the DNR said. “The rapid response and rescue by firefighter Ty Conley saved the exhausted Heidenreich couple. This chain of events exhibits the importance of awareness while recreating on our lakes as well as the necessity of personal floatation devices.”



Posted 6/9/2014