Louisville fisherman rescues two construction workers floating d - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville fisherman rescues two construction workers floating down Ohio River

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - A Louisville man is being called a hero after rescuing two construction workers after their boat flipped over in the dark.

Lawrence Taugher said he went out on the Ohio River Friday night after work to go fishing near the hydro-electric dam.  He headed back to the boat ramp around midnight when he heard several fishermen on shore, screaming.

"I couldn't really hear them until I turned the engine off and they were yelling, 'someone's in the water,' said Taugher.

Three construction workers were helplessly floating down the river in the dark.  Only one of them swam to shore.

"I started seeing the reflection off their life vests," said Taugher.  “I lifted him into the boat and he told me he had a buddy with him I didn't see him anywhere."

Walsh Construction says the men were working on the Ohio River Bridge Project when one of their small safety boats broke away.  The men jumped into another boat to try and retrieve it.

"They got down there and then realized that the water was really really swift, by that time it was too late," said Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Schreck.

The boat flipped, throwing the men into the water and eventually over the McAlpine Dam.

"Going through those gates is like going through a washing machine," said Schreck.  “Actually the victims exclaimed repeatedly how lucky and how glad they were that they had those life jackets on they saved their lives."

The jackets kept the men afloat and also helped Taugher track them down.

“All of a sudden,” he said, “I heard somebody scream and I look over and seen his reflection off his life vest too."

Both men were safe but badly hurt.

"They were just laying down on the bottom of my boat, just barely moving," said Taugher, who took the men to the boat ramp where paramedics were waiting.

"I mean they're really lucky to say the least, that water's nothing to play around with," he said.

DNR officials call Taugher a hero.

"I'm just glad I could help somebody out,” he said.  “I wouldn’t really call myself a hero but I'm just glad, I mean I hope somebody would do the same for me."

Walsh Construction is not releasing the name of the men involved but says two were checked out at the hospital and one was admitted.

A construction boat is still missing, and the incident is now under investigation.

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