Three Wisconsin Duck Hunters Assist in Rescue of Men Clinging to Capsized Boat

by Amy Myers
Dennis Hallinan / Getty Images

Three duck hunters decided to delay their trip on the Wisconsin River to help the local sheriff’s office unit in the rescue of two men clinging to their capsized boat.

Just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Portage County Communications center received a call about two men near Bukolt Park in Stevens Point that had capsized. The caller reported that the men were hanging onto the top (or rather, the bottom) of the vessel.

“The original call was that there were two hunters on top of their capsized boat and eventually one of them slid off the boat,” Sergeant Nicki Lukas from the Portage County Sheriff’s Office said.

When the sheriff’s office unit arrived, they knew they would need to get to the two 23-year-old victims quickly. So, they enlisted the help of Talo Marston, Caden Ehlers and Lauren Johnson, three duck hunters who were just about to launch their own boat.

Naturally, the duck hunters agreed to take the Stevens Point Fire Department paramedics to the capsized boat.

“Definitely just immediately ready to help,” Marston shared, per ABC 9 News. “I mean, you know I’m definitely not gonna say no to helping those guys out, because fellow duck hunters, we’re a big community and we gotta help each other out. We got on the boat with EMS guys and drove out there, yeah it was sketchy.”

Duck Hunters Tried to Go Back out, Decided to Turn Back Due to Water Conditions

Apparently, the two capsizing victims had lifejackets on board, but when the boat went over, they couldn’t reach them. While Wisconsin temperatures aren’t freezing yet, extensive time spent in the river may lead to hypothermia. So getting to these two men quickly was crucial for the responding emergency personnel. Thanks to the help of the three duck hunters, the capsizing victims walked away without any injuries. They even declined further treatment after the Stevens Point paramedics checked them out.

“(We) would like to thank the three people who volunteered to assist during emergency. They were in the right place at the right time and acted quickly and bravely! This community is blessed to have such good people amongst us,” the Portage County Sheriff’s Office stated in the press release.

According to Marston, the good-samaritan duck hunters tried to go back out on the water after the excitement, but even they decided the water conditions were just too risky.

“Just be safe, check the weather, you know,” Marston said. “If you have too small of a boat, don’t go out there, it’s not worth it. Like we turned around and came back today after trying to go out again. Stay safe. Always have your phone on you for someone to call.”