Conservation officers rescue angler from Shiawassee River

Contact: Lt. Scott Brown, 989-686-3043
Agency: Natural Resources

May 12, 2021

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers on Monday rescued an elderly man who fell into the Shiawassee River in Saginaw County during an afternoon of fishing.

Conservation Officers Adam Beuthin and Quincy Gowenlock were patrolling the dike system along the river that is closed to vehicles by a locked gate. They drove their patrol truck about a mile along the path and noticed two bikes leaning on a dam structure.

Gowenlock looked toward the river and saw a woman's head along the brush line. As Quincy approached the woman, he saw that she was holding a man's head above the water while also trying to hold onto the shore.

Beuthin and Gowenlock pulled the man and woman, both of Chesaning, out of the cold water and escorted them to the patrol truck. The woman told the officers that when the man hooked a fish, he lost his balance in the muddy river and fell in.

"If it wasn't for you guys, he would have died," she said.

The officers loaded the couple's bikes and fishing gear into their patrol truck and drove them back to their vehicle; the man refused medical treatment.

"Conservation Officers Beuthin and Gowenlock were patrolling the right place at the right time," said Chief Gary Hagler, Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division. "Conservation officers check remote areas to make sure people are safe and responsibly recreating. We want to strongly recommend that you always have a flotation device when on or near the water, and if you plan to be in the water, or even just along the shore, that you have your flotation device accessible."

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents through general law enforcement and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.