Construction workers use crane to rescue woman from drowning

By Calvin Palmer

A construction crew working near the Des Moines River, in Des Moines, sprang into action yesterday afternoon when they saw a boat with a man and a woman aboard go over a dam and capsize.

They rigged up a harness on a crane and operator Joe Lowe lowered Jason Oglesbee down to the swirling water where he was able to grab the woman and take her to the safety of a rescue boat.

“They just harnessed me in and dipped me down in the water and I grabbed her,” Oglesbee said.

The woman’s life jacket kept her afloat for more than half an hour until Oglesbee was able to reach her.

The man was pulled from the river downstream but was no longer breathing. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Des Moines police Sgt Joe Gonzalez said: “If it wasn’t for the team effort of the Cramer & Associates workers, we might have had two drowning victims.”

The man and woman were both believed to be about 60 years old.

The woman was taken to Mercy Medical Center where her condition was described as stable.

Police identified the couple as Alan Neely, 62, and his wife Patricia Ralph-Neely, 67, of Pleasant Hill.

[Based on reports by The Des Moines Register and The Daily Telegraph.]

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