The Savannah-Chatham Aviation unit getting praise for helping save the lives of stranded boaters.
Video shows the late night rescue from a sandbar in the Ogeechee River Wednesday night.
At approximately 8 p.m., aviation units responded to stranded boaters on a sandbar near the King Ferry Boat Ramp. The vessel was occupied by two female adults, one of whom was elderly, two male adults and one child. A combination of the boat’s location and the darkness of the night posed severe danger to the occupants. Waiting for the tide could have proven fatal due to those conditions.
Two tactical flight officers and a pilot, knowing the dangers of these conditions, made a cautious decision to transport the women and the child by helicopter safely back to the Kings Perry Boat ramp.
“We made the decision that the safest thing we could do was land on the sandbar and ferry the women and children off the sandbar to land so if the tide was coming in quicker than expected they wouldn’t be stranded where they were at,” explained pilot and SCMPD Detective Wesley Johnson.
Citizens passing by offered assistance with a personally owned vessel and transported the two males to safety.
The combined city and county team specializes in search and rescue as well as firefighting as well as mosquito control. They say this is an important part of the job and service to the community.
“It always rewarding when you could help somebody out,” said Johnson. “That’s our goal to help our community.”