Dog News

Eight Men and Dog Rescued from Frozen River

by Katherine

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When eight men and a dog from Nebraska set out on a hunting excursion on Dec. 5, 2013, they never expected they would need State Patrol to rescue them from the frozen Missouri River, but that is just what happened.

Dog being rescued by Nebraska's State Patrol. Photo Credit: Nebraska State Patrol
Dog being rescued by Nebraska’s State Patrol.
Photo Credit: Nebraska State Patrol

According to, Ben Micek of Omaha; Eric and Mitch Scranton of Norfolk; Colby Kerber of Broken Bow; Leigh Winterboer and Brad Rasmussen of Spencer, Iowa; Matthew Cronk of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Bill Lang of Huntington Beach, Calif., left to go hunting at 5:45 a.m. They took their 18-foot flat-bottom boats into the Missouri River. The water was flowing smooth at the time, but at 11:30 a.m. a distress call came in to South Dakota authorities and the men reported their boats were stuck in ice. The men were stranded in a Missouri River marsh island near Santee, Neb.

Officers from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission were dispatched on boat to reach the men, but unfortunately they were not able to reach the stranded team of hunters because the river was frozen.

A Nebraska State Patrol helicopter was sent instead and it brought all eight hunters and the dog to safety. The helicopter ferried two men at a time from the marsh to the Nebraska side of the river.

“In cold weather conditions, be aware of your surroundings,” said Tom Zimmer, Game and Parks law enforcement supervisor for northeast Nebraska. “The river can ice up very quickly.”

There were no injuries reported in this rescue mission. The dog and the men were exposed to the cold weather for some time, but they are all enjoying the safety and comfort of their homes.