Man springs to action to save couple from icy water

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

NEWTON CO., Ind. (WLFI) – A DNR employee sprang into action to save a married couple from frigid water in Newton County on Thursday.

The incident occurred around noon Thursday on J.C. Murphy Lake in the Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area in Newton County. The Department of Natural Resources said the couple fell through ice while fishing, and a nearby fisherman called the property office.

Officials said employee Greg Rainford answered the phone, drove to the lake and pulled the man out of 36-degree water which was six-feet deep. Two other people nearby helped the woman out of the water with a rope.

DNR confirms the couple was uninjured. But officials added, “the accident is a reminder to anglers that lake ice is becoming increasingly dangerous with the arrival of spring.”

After the rescue, Rainford and other DNR staff closed the lake and got others off the ice. Rainford said the ice at J.C. Murphy on Thursday was four inches thick and looked strong on top but had “honeycombed” underneath.

The fishing accident was the second time in two years that Rainford has earned recognition. In 2013, he earned a DNR Fish & Wildlife Award of Excellence for his leadership and willingness to mentor new employees. Rainford has worked at Willow Slough for 29 years.

Officials with DNR said, “We’re real lucky to have Greg and employees like him…wouldn’t trade them for the world.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s