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Two Fishermen Help Save Indianola Man at Lake Ahquabi

INDIANOLA – An Indianola man was rescued by two fishermen after falling through the ice at Lake Ahquabi on Sunday.

Richard Rauzi, 58, was snowshoeing and taking wildlife photos on Lake Ahquabi when he got too close to open water and fell through the ice at approximately 10:30 a.m. Two ice fishermen, Jesse Bannor of Des Moines and Damian Bell of Pleasant Hill, heard Rauzi shouting for help.

Bannor and Bell drove their truck on the road to near where Rauzi had fallen in and were able to free a canoe from the canoe rental. With no paddles available, the two used their hands to move the canoe out to Rauzi to offer assistance. They were able to assist in keeping him afloat until rescue workers from Indianola Ambulance and Water Rescue were able to arrive on the scene and get Rauzi out of the water at approximately 11:15 a.m.

After Rauzi was removed from the water and brought to shore, he received medical attention and was transported to the hospital.  He was breathing and conscious when he left in the ambulance.

“Without the quick action of these two ice fishermen to provide assistance, this very easily could have been a tragedy rather than a rescue,” DNR Park Ranger Craig Oberbroeckling. “It is my belief without their selfless service, heroism, and willingness to put their life in danger to help a stranger, Richard (Rauzi) would not have made it.”

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