(photo by Ken Ross)
Two area men, including a former Aurelian, were commended recently for saving a life on Sept. 4.
Kevin Pape, district parks supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, sent letters of commendation to Dave Skou of Le Mars (formerly of Aurelia) and Dave Gardener of Le Mars stating, "What you did was heroic and it is great to know we have people like you who are willing to help people in need."
Skou and Gardener, friends who both work for Wells Blue Bunny milk plant in Le Mars, were on a fishing trip at Marble Beach in Skou's boat.
There were strong winds that day and the water was rough. A boat ran out of gas and was stranded. One of the people on the boat, Ron Newbury. decided to leave the boat and try to swim for shore without a life jacket.
People on shore could tell Newbury couldn't make it among the high waves and frantically waved to get boaters attention. Skou and Gardner saw the waving but could not immediately tell what it was about.
They spotted Newbury in the water and reached him as he was going down with only his hand above water.
"We got him to the side of the boat and then pulled him in," Skou said.
Skou said he feels pretty good about the letter of commendation.
Gardner agreed. "It was just being in the right place at the right times," Gardner said.
The two fish together frequently and regard it as a year-round activity.