Exclusive: Rural Water Rescue

A dramatic rescue in a small pond in rural Nebraska. A Natural Resources District worker is nearly sucked to his death while breaking open a clogged inlet three miles southwest of Wahoo.

Water from the pond outlet created a suction on the other side of the dam where the Saunders County sheriff says an NRD worker had his leg sucked into an inlet about 10-feet from land. A coworker held onto the victim until rescue crews arrived.

"His co-worker held him up and kept him out of the water until rescuers arrived," says Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz who was one of 10 rescuers. Deputies and firefighters took turns in the cold water for an hour-and-a-half. The victim was up to his neck in water.

911 Call: "Yes, we have a drowning victim out here. By Swedeberg on a dam. The Thorson Dam. County Road H."

"The dive team was able to dive underneath," says the Sheriff. "And get to top of the tube and work a harness underneath his thighs so we could lift him out."

The NRD worker has been identified as Robert Heimann, 47. He was in serious condition when he was taken by medical helicopter to Creighton University Medical Center.


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