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Sheriff Creel recognizes Joel Wier with Hero Award

Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel presented Ochlockonee Bay resident Joel Wier with a Heroes Award Wednesday, July 17 for Wier’s role in saving a Tallahassee father and his two teenage children from drowning in the Ochlockonee River on Friday, July 5.

A brother and sister capsized their kayak in the river during a summer squall and were struggling in the choppy waters. The father of the two children jumped off Walker Bridge in an effort to save the children and ended up struggling in the water as well.

A concerned citizen contacted the sheriff’s office from a nearby campground. Lt. Mike Kemp summoned his friend, Wier, and asked to use Wier’s boat to make the rescue. The three Tallahassee residents were rescued from the water and returned to land where they recovered.

Sheriff Creel said Wier took fast action to launch his boat without regard for his own personal safety and helped provide lifesaving services for the three individuals in the water. Wier’s act of bravery was “beyond what is ordinary and expected.”

“We had no business being out there,” said Wier. “But we couldn’t just leave them. It all happened so quickly. It was bad out there, but I was glad to help.”

Wier will be recognized with a proclamation at an upcoming Wakulla County Commission meeting in August.

 

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