Water rescue teams called out for stranded boaters on Nicholson Island

Leechburg's Water Rescue Team 150 Dave Safranyos, John Foster return to shore after river search.  Chris Broda not pictured.

Leechburg’s Water Rescue Team 150 Dave Safranyos, John Foster return to shore after river search. Chris Broda not pictured.


© Copyright AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer

Armstrong County, Pa. – Water rescue teams in Armstrong County were dispatched about 10:00 pm Thursday night after a call for help to get stranded boaters off the Allegheny River.

The incident began with dispatch alerting H.O.S.T. Team 330, Team 130 (Kittanning #6) and Team 150 Water Rescue from Leechburg for a boat that was in trouble and needed to get off the water. Water rescue crews immediately put their skills to work as radio transmission indicated lighting was set up and boats were launched.

The call from dispatch told rescue teams they were unsure exactly where the boat was located, possible near the #6 Dam at Clinton. The dam is located at Bethel and South Buffalo Townships in Armstrong County.

Water Rescue crews from H.O.S.T. TEAM Company 330 and Team 130 positioned above the dam while Team 150 poised their boat below the dam in the event the boat was going over the dam.

After a search of the river, the boat was located at Nicholson Island according to Emergency Director and South Buffalo Fire Chief Randy Brozenick. Nicholson Island is located just up river from the #6 dam. Chief Brozenick said crews initially thought the boat was in trouble somewhere near the Graff Bridge. Apparently the boat was drifting with the current and the boaters were able to shore up at the island until rescue crews arrived.

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© Copyright AKVNEWS/Paul R. Lowes/Editor/Staff Photographer

Chief Brozenick said there were possibly six people on the boat. The boat apparently became disabled do to motor troubles and was eventually towed to shore by the rescue crews. Part of the stranded boaters were taken to shore by one boat and the others were taken to shore in the disabled boat.

The Armstrong Count Hazardous Operations Support Team (Company 330) is designed to support any emergency response within the county where the Team can provide equipment and trained personnel.

This group of volunteers is made of individuals from various Fire, EMS, and Police departments in the county and can be activated by any emergency situation Incident Commander through the 911 center.

The HOST team is able to assist with a HazMat or WMD incident, Decontamination for first responders, Technical Rescues such as trench, collapse, search, and water, traffic control, water buffaloes and the Mobile Command Unit for long term incidents.

Job well done by all the Water Rescue Teams as the incident terminated by 11:00 pm and no injuries reported.