William “Cote” Womack is a Natural Resource Specialist Ranger here at Summersville Lake and was selected to be the June hero of the Month for the US Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District!
As first on scene to an unreported boat collision, Womack rescued a victim who was in shock and clinging to an almost completely sunken vessel near the Dam.
While returning from a routine patrol Womack and SCA Hanks noted trash and debris floating near the face of the dam, and then a man face down on what appeared to be an innertube. The man was unresponsive, causing Ranger Womack to reach for him with an extendable gaff hook and pull him to the boat. It was determined that he was conscious, but in a state of shock.
The victim’s small inflatable motorboat had been struck on the side by a pontoon, both boats were operating on plane, and the force of impact caused a gash in the inflatable, and tore all clothing off of the man. Ranger Womack respectfully used his own shirt to cover the man and preserve his dignity.
Womack coordinated a swift, safe response with Natural Resource Police officers and other emergency responders to assess the needs of the victims, and recover their partially sunken boat and other belongings. It is suspected that the victim would have drowned if it weren’t for the timely actions by Ranger Cote Womack