A soldier and a Vietnam veteran both met at the Appomattox River last week. The circumstances were not optimal, but their meeting saved the one man’s life.
Mike Goodwin, a 75-year-old Vietnam veteran, was fishing on the Appomattox River when disaster struck. Reaching back for his anchor rope, Goodwin fell off his boat and right into the chilling Appomattox River. He clung to his boat for as long as he could. With his grip tireing and the cold river lowering his body temperature, Goodwin said that he was close to letting go of the boat a few times. Still, he cried out for help.
A little while before the accident happen, Chief Warrant Officer Chris Miserlian was finishing a training exercise. Miserlian wasn’t sure he wanted to go fishing that day, but in the end he decided to go anyways. He had his fishing supplies but what he forgot to bring, make the rescue even more of a miracle. Miserlian needs hearing aids. But, as he approached the bank of the river, he realized that he didn’t have them along this time.
There were a few people gathered by the fishing spot. Everything seemed normal as the fishmen cast onto the river in hopes of catching the “big one.” But something was wrong. Out on the river, almost out of shouting distance, Mike Goodwin was clinging onto his boat.
Miserlian, saw Mike Goodwin’s boat and it raised some suspicions in his mind. “Seeing a boat, out in the middle of the water isn’t probably a good thing,” Mike later said in an interview. He thought he heard something. It isn’t clear if anyone else on the bank heard the same cry for help.
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As Miserlian walked closer to investigate, he says, “Once I got closer, I definitely heard someone holler for help.” The Chief Warrant Officer started to wade out into the chilly water. “The first thing that happens is, I sink past my knees in some real sticky mud.”
Mike Goodwin shares how relieved he was, when he saw that someone had heard his cries for help. “It was a miracle seeing him standing there, already waist deep in the water and headed in my direction! It was a miracle.”
Miserlian was able to reach the boat and made another amazing discovery. Mike Goodwin had an oxygen bottle on the boat with him. Immediately Miserlian asked if Mike was able to breath properly.
The rescue went on with no other hiccups and Mike Goodwin was brought back to shore, thankful to be alive. He says that this incident won’t stop him from fishing but that he may be fishing from the banks for the next few weeks at least.
Its awesome to see how a few normal things came together in order for this miracle to take place. First Mike didn’t feel like he had the strength to hold onto to the boat but he did. Miserlaian didn’t feel like going fishing at first but he decided to go after all. Even though he didn’t have his hearing aids in, Miserlian was able to hear the faint calls for help when it seems no one else on the bank heard them.
What an awesome miracle!