Category Archives: Water Safety

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.