Deer hunter stuck in Johnson Creek marsh thankful for rescuers
JOHNSON CREEK, Wis. (WMTV) - A man who got stuck in a marsh while deer hunting in Johnson Creek is giving thanks to the several first responders who helped rescue him.
Wayne Vawter became trapped in a swampy area one mile from the roadway where he was hunting.
“I realized I had about an hour and I had to get back to County Road Y where I was parked,” he said. “In doing that, because of the route I had taken, I ended up being across the marsh from where I needed to go. And so I walked across the marsh and got stuck in the mud.”
Vawter became submerged in waist-deep water, suffering from hypothermia, when he called his wife. Vawter’s friend also discovering him after hearing his calls. Vawter says he never lost faith.
“I’ve been in ministry for 50 years and I believed the Lord would have saved me and I never doubted, never got discouraged, about where I was, I just continue to trust,” Vawter said.
The Johnson Creek Fire Department arrived on scene and used their new ‘Can-Am Defender,’ a vehicle equipped for rough terrain, to get Vawter out. The removal process took around 30 minutes and over 10 crew members, according to the fire department.
“So for a smaller town, rural fire department, we’re faced with a multitude of challenges that many of the jurisdictions may see, but we’re pretty proud of the fact that we rise to the occasion and come through,” Captain Jay Deppe said.
Chief Bruce Peterson credits Vawter for asking for help.
“Us men, we’re, we like to think we can get out of any situation and it takes a lot of courage to ask for help, so we’re grateful he did that right away and gave us a good chance to find him,” Chief Peterson said.
Wednesday, Vawter met with the first responders who helped save him, and expressed his gratitude. He urges hunters to canvass the area they’re going to be at and to always bring a cell phone.
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