NEW TOWN - Five people were rescued on Sunday morning after their boat sank in the Van Hook Arm area of Lake Sakakawea.
According to a statement from the Mountrail County Sheriff's Department, an individual made a 9-1-1 call at 4:20 pm. Sunday, stating that they picked up a woman and four-month-old baby on Gull Island, in the Van Hook Arm. The caller learned from the woman, who was identified as Barb Rogers, 48, that the boat she was on had sank and that three other occupants on the boat were out in the lake somewhere. The Van Hook Arm is located between New Town and Parshall, south of Highway 23.
The 9-1-1 dispatcher contacted the New Town Fire Department and Ambulance Service, advising them of the situation. Several boats were put into the waters to search for the stranded boaters. At 5:25 p.m., the three missing boaters - they were identified as Rick Rogers, 40, Nikki Engerbertson, 22, and a 17-year-old juvenile female - were located.
The boat's motor and bilge pump quit and the boat filled up with water and turned over. Barb Rogers took the infant and swam to Gull Island while the other three clung to a cooler in the water; they eventually washed in to shore, where they were found by the New Town Fire Chief. All occupants were wearing flotation devices.
The incident preceded a similar incident, in which a boat capsized on the Beulah Bay, also on Lake Sakakawea, on Tuesday. Unfortunetly, this incident caused the death of a 30-year-old Hazen man.
- James C. Falcon