My Vacation Water Rescue

Sure, I helped in a water rescue while on vacation. It was nothing. No need to heap praise or adulation on me. A key to the city might be nice, but I’m not pushing for it.

My wife had used a painful foot injury as a lame (pun intended) excuse to avoid shopping with relatives. So I was in downtown Grand Ledge, Michigan walking endlessly from shop to shop while looking for something sharp to purchase and thrust into my heart.

Part of the group I was with took a break from the excitement of shopping to walk along the river. My grand-niece commented that a man was calling 911. On us? I went to confront him and cause a scene. Anything to get out of more shopping to come.

He was calling 911 since there was a riding mower in the river.


Unfortunately …

there was someone trapped underneath. That guy calling 911 had good vision. From the other side of the river, I could sort of see the mower in the water thanks to the smoke coming from it, but hey, this is the USA where we dump things in rivers all the time now. Thanks Scott Pruitt, Director of the EPA, now renamed the Environmental Poisoning Agency. If I really concentrated, I could see a head raising up from under the mower from time to time.

I was ready to leap into rescue mode, until I saw the flight of stairs that I would have to climb up to cross the bridge and get to the other side of the river. Ugh, couldn’t the man be trapped under a mower on our side of the river? Swimming across started to sound like a great option. But I sucked it up and charged up the steps, or at least the first three, and then walked up the rest. I found my brother-in-law, an off-duty firefighter and paramedic, walking across the bridge. I grabbed him and we jogged across the bridge towards the scene of the accident.

At this point in the story, I wish I could tell you that my bro-in-law and I pulled a drowning man out from under his burning mower. I suppose I could. You’d never know. But this is a Jim Flanigan blog, not an official White House statement from the Trump Administration, so I’ll tell the true story.

Police, Fire and Emergency Services were quickly arriving on the accident scene, described to the 911 operator somewhat inaccurately as across from the Lick-ity Split Ice Cream stand.

lick-ity split

I gave them a “follow me” wave and headed down to the riverbank and the scene of the accident. The alleged victim was now standing next to the mower. My first inclination was to push the not-so-much victim back down in the river before helping him to shore. However, at that point, others were starting to arrive, so I settled for giving the unsteady old victim a hand to help pull him safely back up on shore. He was as wobbly as a Trump attempt at a logical argument.

Emergency services were rendered, and thankfully this victim was also saved.


It was a happy ending for all since I insisted on accompanying my bro-in-law back to his house so he could shower. No More Shopping!