Burleson County Sheriff Recognizes Lifesaving Efforts

Screen shot from the Burleson County sheriff's office Facebook page.
Screen shot from the Burleson County sheriff's office Facebook page.

The Burleson County sheriff recognizes two men for lifesaving efforts at Lake Somerville.

Sheriff Gene Hermes presented deputy Marshall Bengs and a citizen, Nathan Benn, who heard the yells of two men who fell out of their kayak and into the water about 35 yards from shore near the Birch Creek Unit dock.

According to a news release, the award is presented “to individuals who perform a lifesaving act under extreme circumstances. This includes taking direct, immediate, and positive action to preserve the life of another human who is in danger of dying.”

Statement from sheriff Gene Hermes:

“Here at the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office, our mission is to provide the highest level of professional law enforcement protection and services to our citizens and guests. Deputy Bengs was awarded for his extraordinary performance in his duty to safe the life of a person while employed as a Burleson County Deputy Sheriff.”

Additionally, Hermes said “As part of our community service approach, we often rely upon our citizens to be our eyes and ears in our communities. Mr. Nathan Benn was awarded for his extraordinary performance in his action to save the life of a person and assist a Burleson County Deputy.”

Original story, March 22, 2023:

The Burleson County sheriff’s office participates in what turns out to be a successful rescue of two men who fell out of a kayak at Lake Somerville Monday afternoon.

A deputy and a bystander who heard yells for help went in the water near the Birch Creek Unit boat ramp, where the victims…neither who could swim…were about 35 yards from shore.

The victims were checked by EMT’s before they were released.

News release from the Burleson County sheriff’s office:

On Monday 3/20/23 at approximately 12:50 p.m., Burleson County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 call regarding two male subjects who had fallen out of a boat and could not swim.

The Dispatcher notified Burleson County Sheriff’s Deputies, Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Wardens, and the Birch Creek Fire Department of the on-going incident at the Birch Creek Unit boat ramp.

Burleson County Sheriff’s Office K9 Deputy Marshall Bengs was in the area and responded to assist. Deputy Bengs arrived at the Birch Creek boat ramp within 10 minutes of notification.

Upon arrival, Deputy Bengs observed three male subjects in the water. One of the males turned out to be a bystander who was eating lunch nearby and heard yells for help. The other two males were clinging onto an overturned kayak approximately 35 yards off shore.

One of the males was wearing a life jacket, however the second male was not. The male without the life jacket was able to catch the throw rope and was assisted to shore without incident. The second male could not reach the throw rope, so the bystander held the overturned kayak and helped to keep the man from going beneath the kayak. Deputy Bengs noticed that the man’s life jacket was sliding up on his head, making it difficult for him to keep his head above water.

Deputy Bengs shed his tactical vest and duty gear and entered the water to attempt a water rescue. Deputy Bengs was able to swim out and bring the man to shore without incident. After being brought to shore, the men were checked out by Burleson St. Joseph Emergency Medical Services personnel due to the temperature being approximately 57 degrees at the time. The men were cleared by EMS and released from the scene without injuries.

Burleson County Sheriff Gene Hermes reminds all Lake Somerville visitors to use extreme caution and safety when taking part in water recreation activities.