Two people were rescued after their sailboat overturned on lower Lake Oahe during Friday afternoon’s rainstorm at Pierre/Fort Pierre.
The Pierre Fire Department Rescue Squad was dispatched at approximately 3:21pm after a witness from shore saw the boat overturn and contacted 911.
Once the weather conditions improved enough for a safe rescue, Pierre Rescue launched a boat from Corp Bay boat ramp and another from Peoria Flats boat ramp. The distressed sailboat was located approximately 1.2 miles north of West Shore boat ramp in the center of the lake.
Once the rain let up, the distressed boaters were able to retrieve their cell phone from a dry box and call 911 dispatch. The dispatch center was able to triangulate the distressed boaters’ location and give the rescuers a better area to start the search. The boaters were in the water for less than an hour before being rescued.
Pierre Fire Chief Ian Paul says the weather was a big factor with this rescue. He says when there was a break in the storm, they were able to get both of their rescue boats to the location of the overturned boat. Also assisting with the search was Emergency Management and the 911 dispatch staff.
Pierre Rescue covers land and water rescue for a large portion of the Pierre area.