View Full Version : Fishing line used to save drowning man in Wauconda

11-11-2008, 09:08 PM
Fishing line used to save drowning man in Wauconda
By Bob Susnjara (http://www.dailyherald.com/writers/?by=Bob%20Susnjara) | Daily Herald Staff

Shawn Prate's rod and reel turned into lifesaving equipment when he went fishing with his son at a private 1-acre pond late Thursday afternoon in Wauconda.

Prate cast his fishing line more than 15 feet to hook and reel in Bruce Brown, who was struggling in the water after diving in to save his pet parakeet when it unexpectedly flew from a picnic table into the pond, according to Wauconda police.
Authorities said Prate saved Brown, 60, of Wauconda, from drowning. The parakeet didn't survive.

Prate, 39, of Island Lake, was still a bit shaken Friday when he recalled the details of the rescue.
"It made me nauseous," Prate said. "It was one of the most horrible sights I've seen in my life. I thought he (Brown) was going to die."
Prate took his 7-year-old son, Dylan, to catch fish in the stocked pond for the Harmony Village mobile home retirement community near Barrington Road and Route 12 in Wauconda. Prate said his father owns the property.

Brown dropped by with his parakeet, Wauconda Fire Department Batallion Chief Bob Rucker said. Brown was known for walking with his parakeet, which sometimes sat on his shoulder, Rucker said.
Prate said Brown left the parakeet on the picnic table when he lit a cigarette, but the bird suddenly took off toward the middle of the pond. Seeing the bird stranded in the water, Prate said, Brown dived in and quickly swam 30 to 35 feet to save his pet.
"By the time he got there, he was out of gas," Prate said.
Rucker said Brown grabbed the parakeet in one hand and paddled with the other as he tried to reach shore. However, Brown soon called to Prate for help, saying he couldn't make it to land from a section of the pond believed to be 10 feet deep.
Prate told Brown to release the bird to save himself, but he declined. At 4:38 p.m., Prate called 911 to report Brown was going under water.

Wauconda police Cmdr. John Thibault said an emergency dispatcher asked if Prate had a pole to use to help Brown.
"Normally, we don't encourage someone to go in and save a drowning victim if they don't have experience," Thibault said Friday.

Taking the dispatcher's advice, Prate removed a fish from his hook and cast his 10-pound test line at Brown, snagging his clothing. Prate said he reeled in Brown to about 5 feet, then went into the water about 10 feet from shore to rescue him.
"I grabbed a hold and held on to him and kept his head on my chest," Prate said.

Four Wauconda police officers arrived to pull Brown from the water and place blankets on him, Thibault said. Paramedics took Brown to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Lake Barrington, where he was treated for hypothermia and exhaustion.

11-12-2008, 04:03 PM
Reeled him in using 10lb test? There has to be a record there.:D