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Posted 4/17/2014

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The National Water Safety Congress honored the following Louisville District individuals and teams at the 18th Annual International Boating and Water Safety Summit, Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 17.

Region 1

Regional Award

Jim O’Boyle, Park Manager, William H. Harsha Lake, Batavia, Ohio, was awarded the Regional Award for his contributions to the local, regional and national Corps of Engineers Water Safety Campaign. He completed four years as a representative to the Corps National Water Safety Team, developing themes, products and a campaign used nationally to promote safe water recreation.

O’Boyle demonstrated the highest standards and quality in customer service while working to reduce water-related fatalities and promote water safety through education, publicity, on-the-water outreach, in innovative and creative ways.

Letter of Commendation

The Miami River Area staff received a Letter of Commendation for its water safety education efforts at Caesar Creek Lake, C. J. Brown Dam & Reservoir, West Fork Lake and William H. Harsha Lake in southwest Ohio, and Brookville Lake in southeast Indiana, reaching an estimated 85,965 persons attending interpretive programs and events at the lakes and at off-site events. This is an increase of more than 5,000 contacts from last year.

Miami River Area rangers supported Division Water Safety initiatives and the Wear It program at multiple community events such as the Bass Pro Go Outdoors Event during National Safe Boating Week, a Wilderness Inquiry canoe float, and the first-ever Take a Warrior Fishing event in the Louisville District. On occasion, the staff partnered with agencies such as Ohio DNR and the Coast Guard Auxiliary to jointly promote water safety.

Miami River personnel promoted water safety for visitors and boaters at each lake in a variety of ways, including boat patrols at the lakes, assisting distressed boaters, installing banners, life rings and signs in recreation areas.

Region 2

Award of Merit

Maggie Kubina, Student Intern Park Ranger, received an award of merit for her contributions to water safety at Mississinewa Lake, Peru, Ind. Upon Kubina’s arrival at Mississinewa Lake she immediately brought new and creative water safety efforts to the table. During the 2013 season her efforts reached 16,312 persons and increased interpretive contacts by a conservative 652 percent.

Letter of Commendation

Park Ranger Ryan Poland, and Operations Manager David Cable, Monroe Lake, Bloomington, Ind., received a letter of commendation for their assistance to a person in distress. During a routine afternoon boat patrol, Cable and Poland noticed a person hanging onto a line at the stern of a vessel. When he began to swim away toward another vessel, Cable and Poland followed him because he appeared "out of it" and did not respond to verbal commands. Bringing their vessel alongside the swimmer, they threw him a life ring as he began to sink under water. Poland and Cable brought him onboard, likely preventing a drowning.

Region 3

Regional Award

The Buckhorn Lake and Carr Creek Lake Natural Resources Management Staff received a regional award for their involvement in events to share the water safety message with the public, promoting water safety for not only children but also young adults.

Rangers with the help of other personnel staffed water safety booths at community events, giving instruction on safe boat operation and proper life jacket wear. Working together, personnel from both lakes were able to make 7,900 direct water safety contacts in Perry and Knott counties.