'Oars don't work on ice': Cop uses SCREWDRIVERS to row kayak across frozen river to rescue downed pilot

'Oars don't work on ice': Cop uses SCREWDRIVERS to row kayak across frozen river to rescue downed pilot
Elizabeth Myers of Anne Arundel County Police Department rescued a pilot by using screwdrivers to row a kayak across a frozen lake (AACOPD/YouTube screenshot)

BEARDS CREEK, MARYLAND: A Maryland police officer rowed across a frozen river in a kayak while using two screwdrivers as paddles to save a pilot who had wrecked his plane. Dramatic video footage showed Anne Arundel County Police Department officer Elizabeth Myers scurrying to save the pilot as the single-engine plane crashed into Beards Creek's frozen waters. Other kayaks helped Myers throughout the collaborative rescue effort.

The video which was taken from an officer's bodycam depicts the collision's aftermath on December 26. The pilot, Steve Couchman, 71, of Prince Frederick, Maryland, can be seen bobbing in the distance while Myers musters all her energy to propel her kayak across the frozen water with the aid of two screwdrivers. Two kayaks from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police surfaced as the officer approached the area and rescued the pilot. With non-life-threatening wounds, Couchman was first taken to the Annapolis Landing Marina and subsequently to Anne Arundel Medical Center. In a press statement, the Anne Arundel County Police Department stated: “Oars don't work on ice, but screwdrivers do.” Before the airplane crashed last week, Couchman was the only person aboard a Piper Cherokee single-engine aircraft as per a Daily Mail report. The video showed wheel debris from the airplane lying all over the freezing ground.

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An initial examination indicates that the aircraft took off from Lee Airport in Edgewater, Maryland. The plane's engine started to splutter as per BayNet's report. After hearing the plane splutter, witnesses reported to the police that they also heard it crash into a creek. At around 10.30 am, Maryland State Police from the Glen Burnie and Annapolis Barracks were called to the scene. A police officer from the Anne Arundel County Police Department who had been off duty at the time, as well as two adjacent civilians, acted quickly. In an effort to save the man, three kayaks were in the water. The pilot was able to escape the aircraft and stood on the wing as it was crashing into the ice-covered seas. When the kayakers were close enough, the pilot was able to hold onto one of them in order to maintain buoyancy.

Later, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police officers arrived on the scene by boat. When they arrived, one of the cops sliced through the chilly waters and saved the pilot who was subsequently taken to the hospital. The rescue effort resulted in no injuries to any of the kayakers. Anne Arundel County Fire and EMS Lt. Jennifer Macallair stated: “With the temperatures like I said in the 30 degrees hypothermia can set in within minutes. And so their quick actions - I think definitely made a positive outcome today.”

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