Sand Springs Fire Department rescues stranded boat with elderly pilot

The Sand Springs Fire Department performed a successful water rescue late Sunday night, retrieving a stranded boat with a single passenger.

The boat’s pilot claims to have put into the Arkansas River before daylight Sunday morning and was stranded for most of the day. The 74-year-old man was without a cellular phone and his plight was reported by a third party who spotted him on the water.

The pilot says he recently purchased the boat and it was his first time putting it in the water. The vehicle began having motor problems early on and ultimately stalled out and partially flooded.

According to Captain Shelby Baughn, the Tulsa Police Department helicopter was unavailable to provide assistance, and the Tulsa Fire Department was called in to help. However, the Sand Springs rescue boat located the stranded vessel shortly before TFD arrived and the flooded boat was hauled out of the water just before midnight.