Douglas County Helps Boat Crash Victims

douglas_sheriff600The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office recently-purchased airboat was used for the first time in a rescue last week after five people were injured in a boat crash in Pope County.

Five men were injured, two of them critically, when an airboat crashed Sept. 21 in Outlet Creek in White Bear Lake Township, near Krueger Farms and County Road 18, southwest of Starbuck.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded with its airboat and helped carry two of the victims away on backboards. It was the first time the airboat, which was delivered in February, was used in a rescue.

The victims, all from Glenwood, are Jason Meulebroeck, 38, Nicolas Gugisberg, 38, Jesse Koob, 37, Isaac Schiffler, 38, and Travis McCrory, 38, according to the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.

All five victims were transported to the Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood.

Meulebroeck and Schiffler were both transferred to the Hennepin County Medical Center and were listed in critical condition the day after the crash.

The injuries to the other victims were not as serious, according to authorities.

Airboats have flat bottoms and their propellers are fan-like. Airboats can navigate various depths of water, while also being able to maneuver over obstacles.

The county’s airboat, which is 18 feet long and 8 feet wide, was purchased for $76,659 through a $45,000 grant, a $20,000 donation from Central Specialties and $10,000 from the sheriff’s office.

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