Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Man overboard (on riding lawnmower no less)

An 84-year-old man needed U.S. Coast Guard help Monday after he accidentally drove a riding lawnmower off the edge of Rutherford’s Landing in Grand River Village and into the Grand River.

The Coast Guard did decline to release the name of the victim without first filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Assisting in the rescue was licensed charter captain Don Woodruff, owner of the sport fishing boating, Megabite.

According to the Coast Guard, the incident occurred about 3 p.m. As Woodruff was piloting his vessel past the popular boat launch he saw the victim standing in three-to four-feet of water and next to the partially submerged riding lawnmower.

The victim was unable to lift himself unto the pier, however, said the Coast Guard.

Seeing the man in trouble, Woodruff called the Coast Guard’s Station Fairport Harbor via marine band radio, the Coast Guard said.

The unit then sent its 25-foot small response boat with two station members who rushed upstream and extracted the victim, pulling him up onto the pier, the Coast Guard said.

“He was a little shaken up. Apparently his foot slipped off the clutch when he was cutting the grass,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Adam Lutz.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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