Category Archives: Little Rock District

Lifesaving fishermen recognized

by Jay Townsend

On March 5, 2016 two high school tournament fishermen along with an adult boat captain abandoned their quest for big bass glory to save a canoer from drowning in Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas.

While fishing in a local tournament, boat captain Micah Piker a combat medic in the Arkansas National Guard along with his brother, high school fishermen David Piker from Pottsville, Arkansas and Nick Kuras from Dardanelle, Arkansas heard yelling from a small group kayaks and canoes in the water that appeared to be in distress and noticed emergency vehicles on the opposite shoreline of the cove they were in.

Micah Piker receives a water safety award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan for saving a potential drowning victim on Lake Dardanelle March 5, 2016.
Micah Piker receives a water safety award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan for saving a potential drowning victim in Lake Dardanelle March 5, 2016.

The fishermen quickly reeled in their lines and headed towards the commotion. When the fishermen turned first responders arrived they found a capsized canoe and a man wearing a life jacket floating face down in the frigid 55 degree water. The two other young paddlers, his grandchildren, at the scene were unable to roll him over in the water.

Nick Kuras receives a water safety award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan for saving a potential drowning victim on Lake Dardanelle March 5, 2016.
Nick Kuras receives a water safety award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan for saving a potential drowning victim in Lake Dardanelle March 5, 2016.

Kuras and the Piker brothers quickly pulled the victim into their boat. Recognizing the severity of the situation Micah Piker started CPR, Nick Piker rendered first aid while Kuras drove the boat to the opposite shore where an ambulance was waiting.

David Piker receives a water safety award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan for saving a potential drowning victim on Lake Dardanelle March 5, 2016.
David Piker receives a water safety award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan for saving a potential drowning victim in Lake Dardanelle March 5, 2016.

Without a doubt the fast actions of Kuras and the Pikers provided the victim with a chance of survival by preventing his drowning. Their actions were commended by Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan in front of their peers and family at Pottsville High School on March 29, 2016.

Three fishermen were recognized by Little Rock District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers and Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan in front of their peers and Family at Pottsville High School on March 29, 2016. The three men pulled a potential drowning victim from Lake Dardanelle, rendered CPR and first aid as well as transporting him to a nearby ambulance. (left to right) Park Ranger Miles Johnson, Micah Piker, David Piker, Nick Kuras, Park Ranger Patrick Callahan and Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan.
Three fishermen were recognized by Little Rock District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers and Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan in front of their peers and Family at Pottsville High School on March 29, 2016. The three men pulled a potential drowning victim from Lake Dardanelle, rendered CPR and first aid as well as transporting him to a nearby ambulance. (left to right) Park Ranger Miles Johnson, Micah Piker, David Piker, Nick Kuras, Park Ranger Patrick Callahan and Little Rock District, Deputy District Commander Maj. Andrew Jugan.

The victim ultimately passed away on March 9, 2016 from other health related issues. Without the fishermen’s quick response two grandchildren could have watched their grandfather drown that day.


Dripping in champagne the M/V Dan Reeves gets to work

With the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle, the latest addition to the Corps’ fleet of tow boats is officially christened the Motor Vessel Dan Reeves.

Corps employees, Reeves’ family members and friends, and people from across the navigation industry gathered at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas, to formally christen the M/V Dan Reeves as it is placed into service in the Little Rock District.

Corps employees, Reeves’ family members and friends, and people from across the navigation industry gathered at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas, to formally christen the M/V Dan Reeves as it is placed into service in the Little Rock District.

“By naming this vessel the Motor Vessel Dan Reeves, we get to honor a member of our Corps family who made a big impact on the Little Rock District, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and our country,” said Col. Courtney W. Paul, district commander.

Dan Reeves retired Jan. 3, 1991 after more than 30 years of service, all with the Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District. His dedication, loyalty, and faithful service contributed substantially to the successful operation of the MKARNS.

“His contributions have far outlasted his career and the system’s outstanding reputation for reliability is largely attributable to his work,” added Paul.

Reeves

 

 

 

 

Lee Bass, former Reeves colleague, remembered his friend and coworker as a man who could be counted on to find solutions to the hardest problems.

“I think it [the new tow boat] is truly fitting and worthy of the name Dan Reeves,” said Bass. “Tow boats do all the heavy hauling and Dan was considered, a workhorse of an engineer.”

MV Reeves 2
Bass said that Dan’s genius helped establish the MKARNS as one of the most reliable in the nation. Reliable navigation system, reliable Dan.

“Dan had several unique qualities,” said Bass. “The most impressive was his problem solving capabilities. He could see what caused problems most people would miss. He also had a knack for finding solutions and developing detailed sketches to make the repairs. His ability as a human calculator and problem solving was utterly amazing.  Utterly amazing results from amazing Dan.”

The crowning moment of the ceremony came as Virginia Reeves, Dan Reeves’ widow, joined district leaders on stage to pass the ship’s Bible to the vessel’s new captain Allen Best followed by Reeves’ niece, Patrina Greenway, smashing a champagne bottle on the hull.

MV Reeves 3

 

“Our entire family was very pleased with the whole event,” said Gregg Greenway, nephew of Reeves.  “It exceeded all of our expectations and I learned things about Uncle Dan that I didn’t know. Plus the boat was way nicer than I pictured it. I know that Uncle Dan would be proud.”

And with that, the newest addition to the district’s inventory baring Reeves’ name is ready for service. The M/V Dan Reeves is a high-tech tow boat designed for maintenance and repair activities on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System infrastructure. The system includes 445 miles of navigation channel, 18 lock and dam structures, four federal powerhouses, and numerous park and recreation waterfront areas and boat ramps. The majority of these activities require heavy lift capability and are inaccessible from land.

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