Recognizing heroes

By Jay Townsend

 

On Dec. 10, the Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers honored Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer Billy Williams and Sgt. Ben Sisk with Life Saver Awards for their heroic actions while saving the lives of three pontoon boat passengers at Ozark Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River during the spring flood event.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Wildlife Officer Billy Williams (left) receives a Life Saver Award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District Commander, Col. Courtney W. Paul (right).

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Wildlife Officer Billy Williams (left) receives a Life Saver Award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District Commander, Col. Courtney W. Paul (right).

At 10 p.m. on April 8, the officers responded to a distress call from a vessel that lost power, floated downstream, became pinned against one of the tainter gates and began to capsize. The officers tried to pull the boat to safety but were unsuccessful.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Sgt. Ben Sisk (left) receives a Life Saver Award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District Commander, Col. Courtney W. Paul (right).

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Sgt. Ben Sisk (left) receives a Life Saver Award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District Commander, Col. Courtney W. Paul (right).

Officer Sisk requested the open gates be closed, giving him and Williams about a two minute window to reach the boaters. Facing the danger that water would soon be rushing over the dam, Sisk and Williams fastened on to the boat and pulled it and its occupants to safety.

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