BUCKEYE LAKE – Two personal watercraft riders were mighty happy to see the Buckeye Lake Museum’s Queen of the Lake II tour boat on Labor Day.
The boat’s crew, Chuck Gleich, Buckeye Lake Village Council President Charlene Hayden, and Buckeye Lake Museum Director J-me Braig, pulled the riders from the water near the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club after they both fell from a personal watercraft on which they were riding double. Braig dove into the lake to help a female rider.
This was the second time a Queen of the Lake II crew has rescued people from Buckeye Lake and under surprisingly similar circumstances.
“We were just heading off for our special public tour for the holiday,” said Braig. She said the lake was very choppy Labor Day. A wave knocked the couple – who preferred to remain anonymous – off their watercraft and into the water. There were no injuries.
“I jumped in because I could see that the lady was very tired and was having trouble holding on,” said Braig. The water was roughly seven feet deep, she said.
Gleich told Braig he saw a watercraft in distress when the Queen of the Lake II was pulling away from its dock for a lake tour. “We had about 15 passengers on board at the time,” said Braig. She said the law requires boaters to help other boaters in peril. “When we approached, I asked them if they needed help and they both said yes,” said Braig. Both were wearing the required life vests.
Braig said the Queen of the Lake II made a similar rescue in the same spot July 4. Local resident Tim Ryan assisted with his boat.
“This time, he was there again,” she said. “Of all the boats out there, he and I met up again for another rescue.” Ryan was on his pontoon boat and helped get the victims onto his boat. He took them to shore.
“I was in the water and he pulled them up as I pushed from the water,” said Braig. “It was quite a rescue.”