DNR officers honored for boat rescue on Lake Winnebago

MADISON — The state Department of Justice is honoring two Department of Natural Resources officers for rescuing a couple from a disabled boat during a raging storm on Lake Winnebago this summer.

According to a DOJ news release issued Thursday, DNR Ranger Jeff Nieling and Warden Tom Sturdivant got a call on July 19 of a 17-foot boat stranded in the middle of the lake as a thunderstorm with 30 mph winds was moving in.

The waves were so high the DNR officers couldn't see anything. Their own boat began taking so much water Sturdivant feared they would sink.

They tied up at a private pier and waited out the storm. After about 30 minutes they resumed the search. They finally located the boat and took the terrified couple to shore safely.