Deputies honored for Hollywood-style river rescue
BATON ROUGE- Four deputies from three different departments were honored by the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff Thursday.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy John Buie and Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office Sergeant Carl Childers were given the Medal of Valor award. Two deputies from the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office, Captain Brian Spillman and Deputy Mike Dreher, were awarded the Distinguished Service Award.
The group rescued a paddle boarder during the Big River Regional paddleboat race in August. The woman nearly drowned when she lost her balance, fell off her board and was getting sucked toward the pumps of a dredging barge on the Mississippi River.
Buie and Childers first noticed the woman in distress and moved their boat to block her from getting swept into the current. Spillman and Dreher assisted the other two deputies in a tow when the first deputies' boat started to get pulled toward danger, too.
The deputies demonstrated exceptional courage and decisiveness by taking action without regard to personal safety, an award citation reads.
"The successful rescue is indicative of the danger inherent in working in marine law enforcement operations on the Mississippi River," the citation continues.
"It's something that we enjoy getting, but it's just part of our job," Captain Brian Spillman said. "We work together as a group when we are out there doing these type of events and it was nice to be recognized for out work," he added.
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