Beaver Dam Police Lieutenant Talks Water Rescues

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Police Lieutenant Jeremiah Johnson talked water rescues when he joined us last Friday on Community Comment. He says getting first responders to the water as quickly as possible is key, especially in those first few precious minutes. Johnson says if the individual is struggling to swim and if the water is cold, as time goes on, they become weaker and hypothermia can set in. He adds that if they go under, rescuers only have a few minutes to get them back up when there is enough oxygen in their blood to perform CPR and other live-saving procedures.  

Johnson’s comments came moments after the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office announced they recovered the body of a male boater who went missing on Fox Lake last month. He was in a canoe that capsized. Thirty-four-year-old Alicia Johnson of rural Fox Lake was rescued. Authorities reported that there were no personal floatation devices onboard.  

Johnson says while their agency was not involved in the search nor does he have information about the investigation, he did speculate why it took two weeks to find the body. He guesses the individual went down, not up, which makes it very difficult to locate. Johnson says search and rescue teams covered the surface of the lake many times over but they cannot see very well underneath the water’s surface. 

Johnson says as time goes on, underwater equipment is brought in and utilized by search teams such as a sonar device or divers. He says they will start extensive searches in the area where the missing person was last seen.  

Authorities did make a preliminary identification of the recovered body but noted that a name will not be released until the medical examiner’s office can make a final positive identification. The case is still under investigation.