Co-Worker Describes Struggle To Survive

Mike Sousek struggled to keep his friend a co-worker from drowning.

Mike said, “I’m holding his arm and the water is right up to his chin.”

Lower Platte Natural Resources District operations manager Bob Heimann was clearing debris from a pond inlet southwest of Wahoo when a sudden strong suction trapped his leg.

Sousek along with fellow worker Sam Barlean jumped in.
Sousek said, “I’m trying to keep myself from panicking and trying to keep Bob from panicking while waiting for help to show up. I figured as long as I kept his head above water the better chance of getting this solved.”

Sousek said he wasn’t thinking of the numbing, cold water.
“All I did was pray I wouldn’t let him drown,”

The workers made a brief 911 call before their cell phone lost signal.
That took rescuers from Saunders County a half hour or more to find them.
After an hour and a half Bob Heimann was freed from the inlet and flown by medical helicopter to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha. His body temperature rose from 80 degrees back to 98 degrees.

Mike Sousek doesn’t consider himself a life saver. “Bob was my friend. I just jumped in and tried to help him. I don’t feel like a hero at all.”

He does however feel like a crime victim.
Mike's car keys had been soaked in the pond so he took an NRD truck to visit Heimann at Creighton Medical Center.

Mike said while the truck was parked outside the hospital someone took a $3,000 generator that belongs to the NRD.

Mike said, “It made a long, stressful day. I thought maybe yesterday (Thursday) was Friday the 13th.”

He filed a police report and Creighton Medical Center security is also investigating the generator theft.

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