June 26, 2019 10:54 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- An Austin family found themselves in a scary situation Tuesday when their boat started spinning in circles on Blackduck Lake.
Luckily, a Mantorville man was in the right place at the right time.
Nicholas Harbaugh, who goes by "Duke," went to Hines Township to spend some time fishing with his family on Blackduck Lake Tuesday morning. That’s when he said he saw a boat spinning out of control, three people and a dog in the water.
The three people in the water were James Waltz, 64, and Brenda Waltz, 56, who lived in Austin but recently moved to Hines, Minn., along with Holly Stevens, of Austin.
Harbaugh, who is still up north, spoke to ABC 6 about the rescue.
"The daughter (Stevens) had swum to us pretty freely and we were quick to grab her and pull her up into the boat. The next one was the mother. That took a little bit more as she was quite a ways away. We threw out a rope and got to her and pulled her up to the boat. We turned to the dad he had the dog in his arms. We had tossed a rope out, but he was probably 20 feet away from the boat or so. He was probably at that point starting to go underwater, and frantic at that point. We were trying to get close to him but keep away from the boat that at any time could turn and come at us, as well. We pulled him to the boat and grabbed the dog instantly,” Harbaugh said.
He said that he called 911 and had emergency responders on speaker phone the entire time.
According to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the three did not suffer any injuries.
Harbaugh credited his ability to stay calm to his experience volunteering for the Mantorville Fire and Rescue team.
Wednesday night, Harbaugh and the other rescuers, James Harbaugh and Shawn Schreiber, met up with the family they rescued.
“Just to give hugs and reminisce,” he said.
The watercraft was recovered with the assistance of the Minnesota DNR enforcement and Blackduck Police Department. Operator error appears to be the cause of the incident, and impairment does not appear to be a factor, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page.
Updated: June 26, 2019 10:54 PM
Created: June 26, 2019 10:42 PM
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