PUEBLO, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is praising the heroes who kept the tragic Memorial Day weekend accident on Lake Pueblo from being “far worse.”
The CPW Marine Evidence Recovery Team recovered the bodies of two people after a boat holding 13 capsized on Memorial Day weekend.
The two people who were killed were husband and wife Joshua and Jessica Prindle.
On Monday, CPW said, “there was far more to this tragic story.”
CPW Ranger Joe Portteus and Seasonal Ranger Seth Herndon are being praised for their heroism and for keeping the tragedy from being far worse.
Both rangers were on duty Sunday night when the call came that 8 children and 5 adults had capsized on the 4500-acre Lake Pueblo.
The conditions for that night were extremely treacherous, howling winds produced dangerous waves.
Portteus and Herndon immediately raced out in choppy conditions to the sinking boat. According to the rangers, the boat was only built to carry six people.
When the rangers approached the chaotic scene, they immediately called for more help. However, when their calls for assistance could not be heard over the roaring wind, the rangers pulled the victims into their rocking patrol boat.
“I’m convinced the death toll would have been far higher without the courageous response of Rangers Portteus and Herndon,” said Joe Stadterman, Lake Pueblo Park manager. “They ignored the danger to themselves posed by the extreme weather and didn’t quit until they had every living soul safely aboard. Then they delivered them to emergency personnel waiting on shore. They are true heroes.”
Portteus and Herndon saved 11 lives on that Memorial Day weekend.
Both the rangers are being nominated for CPW life-saving awards for their heroic efforts.