Press Release: Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office
Wakulla County Commissioners presented Lt. Mike Kemp of the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office and Joel Wier of Ochlockonee Bay with Hero Lifesaving Proclamations at the Monday, Aug. 19 board meeting.
Dennis Foggy of Post 758 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Tallahassee also presented Lt. Kemp with a Medal of Valor and Wier with a certification of appreciation for their efforts on the Ochlockonee River on July 5.
Lt. Kemp and other deputies on his shift responded to a call of kayakers in distress on the river after a squall came up during the late afternoon hours. Two teenage kayakers had capsized in the rough waters and the father of the children jumped off Walker Bridge in an effort to assist the teenagers.
Lt. Kemp contacted his friend Wier who lives nearby and asked if he would assist the lieutenant in making a rescue of the three Tallahassee residents who were all struggling in the choppy waters. Wier and Lt. Kemp battled the poor weather conditions until they reached the struggling family and rescued them from the river.
Lt. Kemp thanked all the members of his road patrol shift who worked during that day and Sheriff Charlie Creel for the support he has received since the rescue. Wier added that normally he would not have taken his boat out in the weather conditions they encountered, but they both knew they had to respond to help the Tallahassee family or they could have drowned.