SADSBURY TOWNSHIP — What started as an uneventful father-and-son hunt on Saturday ended with the father being rescued from a muddy bog that threatened to suck in the firefighters who were extricating him as well, according to Chief David Chason of Conneaut Lake Park Volunteer Fire Department.
The father and son were on their way back from hunting deer on the last day of the state’s weeklong muzzleloader season not far from the intersection of Conley and Brooks roads at about 2:35 p.m., Chason said, when the father stepped into what liked a run-of-the-mill mud patch.
“It almost absorbed him, like a quicksand, up to his waist,” Chason said.
The son managed to avoid the boggy area and called emergency responders.
When firefighters arrived, they found approaching the stuck hunter problematic. Their attempts to establish a secure footing with ropes and downed trees proved unsuccessful, Chason said.
“We were starting to sink ourselves, so we put ladders up around him on the ground to give us like a catwalk to stand on,” he said.
Once the makeshift catwalk was established, the man was given an IV by a medic on the scene as a preventative measure.
Then the shoveling started.
“Picture being on a tightrope,” Chason said in describing the situation with multiple firefighters digging the man out. “It was quite the balancing act.”
When the shoveling firefighters reached the hunter’s ankles, they were able to pull him onto the catwalk they had established.
The man appeared uninjured but was transported to Meadville Medical Center for observation, according to Chason, who said medical privacy laws prevented him from releasing the hunter’s name.
“The poor guy was more embarrassed than anything, but it really was not his fault,” Chason said, explaining that there was nothing that would have indicated the dangerous nature of the swampy area. “If he hadn’t been with someone — if you were by yourself, you wouldn’t haven’t gone out.”
From dispatch until Conneaut Lake Park VFD was back in service was nearly two hours, Chason said.
Conneaut Lake VFD, Conneaut Lake Regional Police and Conneaut Lake Area Ambulance Service assisted at the scene and an amphibious track vehicle was provided by Crawford County Public Safety Department.
Credit – Mike Crowley Meadville Tribune