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.
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.
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.
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.
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.